Sri Lanka’s parliament has voted to pass the controversial 20th Amendment to the Constitution, in a move that president Gotabaya Rajapaksa hopes will strengthen his office and remove several constitutional checks and balances on his power.
The amendment was passed with several Opposition parliamentarians voting with Rajapaksa’s ruling Sri Lankan Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), including at least four MPs from the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC). The latest count states that 156 parliamentarians voted for the amendment with 65 votes against.
Now that the amendment has passed with two-thirds majority at the second reading vote it will be moved to the Committee Stage before being taken for final vote
Opposition parliamentarians also called a separate vote on a clause in the 20th Amendment which would allow dual citizens to be elected to parliament.
That too was passed, with 157 voting in favour to 64 against.