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2nd reading of 20A passed with a two thirds majority

The second reading of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution was in passed in Parliament with a two thirds majority a short while ago.

156 Members of Parliament voted in favour of the 20th Amendment while 65 MPs voted against.

Several Opposition members including Parliamentarians of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress voted in favour of the Amendment.

The vote was taken up this evening after Members of Parliament debated the draft bill of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution over two days, yesterday and today.

The Committee Stage or the third reading of the bill is currently underway. Following the Committee Stage, the final vote on the bill will take place.

The proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution will become a law following the ratification of Parliament and after the signature of the Speaker of House is placed on the amended bill.

The Minister of Justice presented the bill entitled “Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution” to amend the Constitution was presented in Parliament on the 22nd of September.

Following the presentation of the bill, 39 special determination petitions were filed before the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the 20th Amendment.

The Supreme Court for two weeks considered submissions pertaining to the special determination petitions filed challenging the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution.

The petitioners were seeking a declaration that the proposed bill in whole or in part, requires the approval of voters at a public referendum and also requires a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

The Supreme Court’s interpretation was then submitted to the President and the Speaker on the 10th of October.

The Supreme Court had ruled that Articles 3,5,14 and 22 of the bill, as proposed, are not in accordance with the article 3 of the Constitution which is to be read with Article 4 of the Constitution.

The court also determined to approve the 20th Amendment in its present form; it would require approval at a referendum.

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