Political parties representing ethnic minorities have submitted a proposal to the steering committee of the Constitutional Assembly calling for a post of Vice President, hierarchically above the Prime Minister and below the President, to be created to represent their communities.
Recently, the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA – primarily representing the Tamils of Indian origin), the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, the All Ceylon Makkal Congress and the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) forwarded the said proposal calling for the said post to be created within the proposed new Constitution.
Leader of the TPA, Minister Mano Ganesan was reported as saying that not only would such a position allow the minorities to seek solutions to their problems by airing them directly, but it would also mean that political representatives would not be able to evade responsibility.
The position is also to be rotated among the various minority communities to allow for equality and fair play.
A similar proposal had previously been submitted to the Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms (PRCCR), where two Vice Presidency posts were envisioned with one such position to be held by one who does not belong to the political party, alliance or independent group from which the President hails from.
Chairman of the PRCCR, Attorney-at-Law Lal Wijenayake further said that it had also been proposed to the Committee that the said aforementioned Vice President also be the chair of the Parliamentary second chamber.
“As per protocol, the said Vice President will be above the Prime Minister,” he explained.
When queried as to whether the said Vice President would be elected by the people to the post at an election or be appointed by a Parliamentary vote, Wijenayake added that the process with regard to the proposal had not been decided yet.