29 September, 2020

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The Logic Of The Republican Constitution & The Relative Autonomy Of The Presidency: A Political Science Perspective

By Dayan Jayatilleka – 

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

“Sovereign is he who decides on the exception”—Carl Schmitt

At the heart of the current debate is the issue of national and people’s sovereignty, on the one hand, vs. the supremacy of the legislature on the other. This debate is based on a monumental misperception. 

There is a complete misunderstanding of the Constitution. Some inhabit a mental universe in which Sri Lanka has a Westminster model, i.e. a parliamentary system or preponderantly parliamentary of government. It does not. It has a mixed system which is predominantly an executive Presidential system. The dice is still laden in favor of the Presidency.

It is very true that the 19th amendment imposed certain fetters on the Presidency. However, the 19thamendment is not a new Constitution. The 19th amendment is by definition, a modification of the existing Constitution. That modification is a structural change, not a system change. It is delusional and absurd that some behave as if we have a new Constitution—a project which was indeed on the neoliberal agenda but has so far failed.  

The political or state system—the model– is eminently classifiable under the category (or ‘chapeau’, in diplomatic language borrowed from the French) of ‘Presidentialism’. “The Gaullist System in Asia”, as Emeritus Professor of Political Science AJ Wilson defined the 1978 Republican Constitution in a 1980 volume, still remains as some credentialed critics termed it at the time, Gaullist-Bonapartist, though with important modifications which make it neo-Gaullist or quasi-Gaullist. 

The Constitution has to be viewed holistically. The totality is greater than the part. A Constitution cannot be reduced to a single amendment or viewed through the prism of a single amendment. For instance, the Constitution is irreducible to and cannot be perceived through the keyhole of, the 13th amendment of 1987. As with the 13th amendment so also the 19th amendment.

The 19th amendment has modified but not abolished the logic of the 1978 Jayewardene Constitution. The logic of that Constitution is, in the words of its architect, “a strong and stable executive free from the whims and fancies of the legislature”.

While the 19th amendment renders it less free from the whims and fancies of the legislature than it was, the executive still remains above and relatively autonomous of the legislature.

The logic of the 1978 Constitution is that the country is a Republic, which means that the people are sovereign, and the sovereignty of the people,, in its executive aspect, is exercised through a Presidency which is directly and democratically elected by the people as a whole, and in which the office of president cannot be held by anyone who has failed to obtain a majority (50.1%) of the popular vote.

This is why the Presidency is placed decided above the Prime Minister: The President is elected by the whole people and is therefore the more authentic agency of popular sovereignty. The executive function is that of making decisions, not framing laws. Framing laws is by the legislature. Making decisions is the function of the Presidency which derives its legitimacy from having been elected by a majority of the people as a whole, unlike others elected on a far more restricted base.

The center of gravity of that Constitution is the Presidency, not the Prime Minister or the Parliament. One cannot “continue to govern…as per the Constitution”, against the President. Such an attempt is the real ‘coup’. The Head of Government is also the President. The President is not a mere ceremonial Head of State.

To shift from the issue of the Parliamentary arithmetic to that of state power as such, here the legislature remains disadvantaged, irrespective of the 19th amendment. It is here that the heart of political power and indeed the reality of politics itself, lie.

No political scientist would confuse the ‘State’ and the ‘Government’. Nor would he/she assume that the two could be placed on par, leave alone envisage a scenario in which in a clash, the Government overrides the State.

If the Government defies the State, the State intervenes to override the Government. The Government is not the State, and is certainly not superior to the State—it merely manages the day to day affairs of the State. It is the state that in the ultimate analysis, determines the Government and not the Government, the State.

The President, as the elected executive, is not only the Head of State and Head of Government, he is much more crucially, the Minister of Defense and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. It is the President who wields the Constitutional-legal monopoly of violence. 

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Latest comments

  • 6
    2

    Please do not talk too much now .
    You will be asked to come back to Sri Lanka ?
    That is Sri Lankan politics .
    You are with US or with our enemies ..
    So low in humanistic approach ..
    So thugs .
    So bad politics .
    So immoral
    So cunning
    So unethical;
    If you are a man of principles and man of decent politics;.
    If you are a man of democracy and human right ..
    Come back to Sri Lanka speak about against this unconstitutional act of MR .

    • 5
      0

      Lanka 6,

      Remember what MR called Dayan on Aljazeera? A conscience-less one who will submit his learned skills to suit the whims of one who pays his bills, aptly defined as prostituting in its broad definition.

      Dayan keeps proving that agin, and again, and again, only way he knows how to make a living!

    • 5
      0

      Ah poor Dayan ……. the bugger is permanently jinxed.

      Nothing ever goes right for him!

      Keep the chair warm for Udayanga

      I f you still want to remain …………. Udayanga might need driver

  • 2
    0

    I’ve a funny solution ..
    It’s just a joke to tease all of you..
    Why do not make two PMs& two presidents for Sri Lanka .
    As it as been claimed by both parties ..
    Both claim that they have right to rule .?
    Why do not you go back in hsiotry and make ..
    Two Sri Lanka .
    Udarata vs patharata..
    Udarata is for Ranil
    Pathatrata is to MR…
    So that we could solve this problem.
    One pariliament for Udaraata and another one for patharata..
    You can have Jimbo cabinet.
    MR can have as many as Mps in his regime ..
    Ranil too can have as many as Mps ..
    Instead of 225 you can have 450 Mps ..
    So; Goata could enjoy his former job..
    Like wise ; we could have so many new faces ..
    If this does not work ..
    Give the country to.army to rule ..
    If not give to.JVP to rule..
    All send all these old idiots home and bring a new generation .

    • 5
      0

      No political scientist would confuse the ‘State’ and the ‘Government’. We don’t either. Neither does Mohamed Bin Salman. Putin. and many others .You cannot get rich and make money in politics unless you are a crook. You don’t need political science to arrive at that.
      Trust Ambassador DJ recalls what I wrote in March 2015 after he read out MRs message at the Nugegoda rising.

  • 4
    0

    What Dr. Jeyatilake says is Srilanka’s constituion gives all the powers to President who was elected by more than 50% of the People. So the President has the power to do anything including murder, rape, robbery etc. Since he is elected by People, the courts, parliament and people are immaterial. When the 1978 constitution came, President Jeyawardena said he has all the powers other than making a man into wmonan and vice-versa.
    In otherwords, What Dr. implies is law and order and justice system, parliament etc. are invalid against Presidents actions. This is what Mahinda did during his power. His children raped girls and murder Washim. President Mahinda himself involved in the murder of Lasantha is another example. A number of journalists, human rights activists were abducted and murdered by Mahinda and the law and order can’t do anything. This is why Mahinda loves that power. He became the richest and his family became richest. Why cannot Sirisena become the richest?
    What a Constituion?

  • 5
    0

    Dayan,
    So we can erase all the bullshit in the constitution just with one sentance. This country belongs to Mahinda Rajapakse and his family only.

  • 4
    0

    Hey, hey, this shameless fake man is doing bidding for his pay masters. Now you are a public servant, and be like that, you shouldn’t take sides, and serve the nation impartially. All of them are real vomit and visiting back to their vomits. You real and true scoundrels, all of them, their uncommon President, fake PM and fake government are trying to fool the people. All what they are up to is thievery and robbery. Damn the constitution, none of the over six million people who voted for sorry Sirisena wished him to do such thing – giving back power to those who got defeated by them. This clueless and wicked Sirisena betrayed all of them, and acted against their wishes. Simply put it, no amount of your writing and shouting wouldn’t justify that.

  • 0
    5

    The most authentic, legitimate and accredited political science analysis by Jayatilleka!

    • 3
      0

      “The most authentic, legitimate and accredited political science analysis by Jayatilleka!”

      Says the ………… the most authentic, legitimate and accredited political scientist!

      Bloody Lankans! :))

      Who needs the 3 stooges?

      Mahinda, Ranil and Sirisena ………… is doing the Lankan version …….. with Dayan, Ramona …………. in the supporting cast

      I would rather not watch ………. if I had a choice!! :))))

  • 0
    0

    In his so called “Political Science Perspective” DJ had conveniently ignored the intent of the Legislature when all 225 members of Parliament voted to enact the 19th amendment to the Constitution. This was a conscious and collective effort by Parliament to prevent a situation that has arisen by the unconstitutional action of the President. It was made necessary due to the past experience the UNP Government had under Chandrika.

  • 0
    0

    Yes, the legislative parliament has certainly been elected on a far more restricted base. Only the president was voted in on the purely democratic one-on-one national vote. Parliamentary ministerial positions were picked by the proportional representation voting system, which was based on the based on the Presidential outcome, and then were further shuffled and shifted by all kinds of alternate means during the parliamentary elections, which was far removed from the sovereign rights of the people, and entirely under the purview of Ranil.

  • 0
    0

    Why we have to follow the american type constitutional procedure,. What is wrong if we use PRivi council with the constitution. America popularized Free Trade.when it is not working for them they say NO FREE TRADE and No neo liberalism. Why we can not do that.

  • 2
    0

    We all know on whose side he is.
    By sucking up to Sirisena,he got the job as Ambassador to Russia.
    He was not the RIGHT person for that job.
    When Ranil W hasn’t lost the vote of Confidence in the SL Parliament, it was WRONG for the President of SL to make Mahinda R as PM.
    It makes SL a BANANA REPUBLIC

  • 1
    0

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”
    *
    DJ wins the debate based on Humpty Dumpty logic.

  • 0
    2

    “The logic of the 1978 Constitution is that the country is a Republic, which means that the people are sovereign, and the sovereignty of the people,, in its executive aspect, is exercised through a Presidency which is directly and democratically elected by the people as a whole, and in which the office of president cannot be held by anyone who has failed to obtain a majority (50.1%) of the popular vote”
    Thanks, DJ that is the crux of the matter.

  • 0
    0

    dear Dayan

    You seem to be getting distracted with this article mania while our Defence Treaty is lying on your desk for nearly a month now for ratification by your president.When your president said he is appointing a academic professor to your post i though to myself here comes trouble.Your president wanted a Defence Treaty with us and we gave it to you promptly.See how we saved Syria from the US.We promise to make Sri Lanka too a Syria one day so that US imperialism will not bother you.

    You are talking about political science BS when according to your president US invasion is imminent.Watch this.All this is ready for deployment on your sovereign soil and seas promptly.

    • 0
      0

      Valery Gerasimov: Our President never said the “……US invasion is imminent”. Dayan might have told you this, which make you a sucker. But then you have convinced Dayan that you are in the inner circle of Putin!

      .
      By the way, to protect from ‘US imperialism’ do you want to cause the sort of destruction suffered by Syria? We are not suckers Valery!

  • 0
    0

    I did not understand why Thero brought Setae and government here to compare and contrast EP and PM. Satiate is the permanent element exist ever, while government comes and with election. Likewise the citizens are permeant element, but the voter comes and goes. Neither EP nor PM is comparable to either state or government. Government is whole body rule the country where the voter lives. Further either president or PM only part of the government, they come and go. Because Thero played a game there we will ignore that part and go ahead with examining his fraudulent analysis.
    Thero with his flamboyant adjectives attempts to blackmail Lankaweyans that as they have created an executive president and that is a dead end. “You all are subject to him”. He is trying to hide the fact that all elected ones, whether executive or legislatives are people’ servants. The delegated sovereignty of the people has a tendency to return without revoking it too. Based on the incidents, legal experts interpret whether the sovereignty of the people has returned to them or not. It is only a developing idea, hypothesis; you don’t think it like full set dough makers you buy in in a electrical stores there you check the components if they are complete before you take home. So the sovereignty is move idea with time, not anything rigidly refined. Manu, who ran his chariot over his child, was a democratic leader of his time, but a voter these days cannot select mercy killing for death. American constitution is there for 200 years but the current government is not the 200 years old that time government. We all know that these days Blacks and women can vote. There is joke said if Abe Lincoln wake up today he would be one in the white male supremacist, but a was the liberator of 130 years ago. Thero’s date old Cuban Communist static definition doesn’t apply here for anything. People sovereignty is the supreme.

  • 0
    0

    People don’t do any job in ruling them. If one is going to do a job, he/she need authority. If people appoint an executive, they have to grant his authority. (Executive a person do thing with authority- no sovereignty idea needs to be embeds in that- But you can’t do that with a parliament or a legislative council). A peon may have authority to walk out of the office anytime, arbitrarily to bring coffee. But the executive inside the room cannot walk out of the office without prearranged permission. It sounds silly; the executive who have more authority doesn’t have peon’s authority. Authority could be deeper but based on the job they are expected to do. So anything Thero bragging is only suitable to Cuban Castro, not for democratic country’s Executive President.

    People’ main manifestation of their sovereignty is through they make rules and ruling themselves. People delegate it categorically only to parliament. There is a confusion existing to Thero among Head of the state, head of the government and the president. There can be an executive president even without those two jobs, but will be weaker than New King. Further as the Sate Includes Government, when one is referred as Leader of state and leader of government, one become ones’ boss too. Thero, just to fool everybody, he is framing a picture that once you create president in your constitution everything must be in president’s hand. Then there are non-executive presidents too. Remember Dr. NJ argued in CT that pre 19A president is not the one referenced in post 19 A amendments as President?

    Parliament is people – People are parliament but that is not the case of the President. Just because a president is elected by 51%, it doesn’t mean he has taken over the legislative function, the main expression of people ruling themselves.

  • 0
    0

    Even after elected by 51%, President is an employee of the people. But parliament is collective representation people. It is the people. That is the reason, in this crisis, democratic countries show concern for Ranil, rather than for New King. For them Lankaweyans express themselves through Parliament. Parliament is directly blessed with people’s sovereignty. Parliament always has authority to make any changes to all powers of the president, including simply abolishing his chair. Thero seems to be challenging indirectly Sampanthar on calling Karu to convene Parliament- but here New King holds the key. That is naive & cunning.

    Let’s look at what it means head of the government or chief of cabinet or speaker of parliament. They are just coordinators of the said bodies, they are not the bodies. A speaker in a parliament cannot make any law without parliament. The head of the parliament never becomes parliament. So what is the point Thero attempt to address by saying New King is the head of the State and the government? He never becomes those. Reconvening the parliament is the only way to restore the suspended people sovereignty, otherwise it will automatically return to them, soon, provoking, UN, IC intervention.

    Now let’s look at the current stalemate case. Ranil wanted to bring 19A, mainly related PM and Cabinet. So president’s authority on that side is curtailed. Karu never had thought he would become Speaker so he never asked curtail President’s authority in parliament. If Karu had asked to terminate president’s authority to prorogue parliament, it would have been added to 19A without much fuss. It was Ranil, even had the inserted that president cannot dismiss parliament within 4 1/2 years. He calculated this to allow that incumbent SLFP president never can dissolve the parliament until Ranil becomes President in January, 2020. Ranil protected his back not he gets fired from his PM position by sacking the parliament. Thero has only puny brain to understand Ranil’s these technologies.

  • 3
    0

    CT

    Could you let him have copies of Constitution 1972 & 1978, 1 to 19 Amendments, proposed 20 A, …………….. and a draft copy of agreement to buy a Floating Corroded Metal Frame from Russia.
    Sirisena desperately need some extra cash flow before he leaves office in or before 2020.

  • 1
    7

    An erudite analysis.

    • 1
      0

      Hela

      “An erudite analysis.”

      It was terrible, when I saw your typing, I was completely blanked out, ….
      I then had to check the meaning and found out.

      erudite – having or showing great knowledge or learning.

      Hope you didn’t really mean it.
      I have mentioned many times in this forum that I am bit thick.
      My comments don’t deserve to be praised as being erudite.
      Please don’t make the same mistake.

      This is the right time to start a riots against “others” and blame it on the minorities. HLD M is itching to type something, probably blaming GG Ponna’s 1933 speech in Nawalapitya which triggered this coup and the ensuing mayhem.

      Michael Roberts will find something from this coup to collate one more recycled thrash.

      Lord Naseby would support not only the coup but your forthcoming riots.

  • 0
    0

    Dude we understand your expertise in political science. You are so good that you need to keep reminding your self and others every day. Same with other constitutional expert Rajeewa too. Just a reminder we are in 2018 and there is some thing called fact checking and social media. So save your energy.

  • 0
    0

    “There is a constitution in Lanka”. News to me. What else is new DJ???? Did your consult the real constitutional expert Rajeewa before writing this.

  • 0
    0

    As usual, the erudite musing of Dr. Dayan J grace these pages of the Colombo Telegraph.

    I of course tend to agree with you, sir, in the absence of clear guidance from the judiciary I have had to consult the Sinhala and English versions of the 19th myself, and have seen its errors.

    The litmus test of the impartiality of my opinion is this: if it was MR instead of RW who was removed from office of the PM, what would I say then? Would I think it was unconstitutional? No I would not. I would not like it, but we have the Presidential system.

    I would like to hear your opinion on how foreign nations can choose whom to recognize as PM when the law of the land says otherwise. Surely there must be some diplomatic protest raised, is it too late or futile?

    “Sri Lanka government strongly objects to refusal of diplomats to accept Presidents decisions as constitutional”

    Oh by the way, where were these diplomats when RW was made PM in an unconstitutional manner?
    I submit that diplomacy is hypocrisy.

  • 3
    0

    If the President has all the power of the state, why is he afraid to reconvene the Parliament? Why is he using colossal sums of Chinese money to buy the stupid MPs?

  • 2
    0

    Dr Dayan Jayathilake,

    It s always better to read and study on any subject before making any comments.

    It is true in the case of 1978 constitution along with all 19 amendments as well.

    Actually the number of amendments is 18, not 19 because there is no 12th amendment.

    Further while talking about numbers one must be much more precise, otherwise you will be off the target. Here again you must read much more carefully the 1978 constitution.

    There are two errors in the above article of Dr Dayan Jayathilake- one minor and the other major.

    The minor error is in the figures

    It is not the winner in a Presidential election should always obtain more than not 50.1% but it is 50%+01 vote. This condition is stipulated only when the first preferences are counted.When the second and third preferences are counted this condition is done away with..

    Now t the major error,

    According to the 1978 constitution, there are three preferences-first preference, second preference and the third preference.

    During the first counting, only the first preference votes are counted, if no candidate fail to obtain 50%+01 vote, then no one is declared elected and counting continues to the second round.

    In the second round all candidates other than the first and second candidates who obtained highest number of votes are rejected and eliminated from the contest and the second or third preference votes of those rejected candidates are counted and added to the votes of the first and second candidates and the candidate among the two candidates obtaining simple majority of votes is declared elected.

    Only simple majority

    The thrust of your entire article is based on this false premises.

  • 1
    0

    Daya: “The President, as the elected executive, is not only the Head of State and Head of Government, he is much more crucially, the Minister of Defense and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. It is the President who wields the Constitutional-legal monopoly of violence. “

    My3 fails on all counts

  • 1
    0

    Dayan Jayatilleka claims this article is a “…… A Political Science Perspective”.

    A ‘perspective’ implies an in-depth, impartial, objective analysis.

    Where the hell are these Dayan?

  • 0
    0

    “a strong and stable executive free from the whims and fancies of the legislature ”. (The wording of a politically literate writer who describes the people’s sovereignty to rule them as whims and fancies.)

    Rowdy, Rowdy Modaya Wildlife Sanctuary Leaders are not suitable to function under any constitution.
    Any constitution written recognizes,
    1). Unwritten assumed parts, conventional parts and customary parts of it,
    2). Written, but not intended to use or to use limited. (Fundamental rights in the constitution doesn’t block emergency declaration).
    3) The flexible area allows changing by interpretation as and when humanity grows. (When, in 1788, they wrote all the people are equal, they did know it would means Blacks and Indians too, but they refused to interpret it as it is then & there)
    It is many times said JR bragged how he had consolidated the power into his hand by describing his ability to do sex change operations. Yet it is nowhere mentioned in 1978 constitution that the cabinet ministry posts of Finance, Law and Order, Justice, Defense have to be restricted only to President. Even that kind of constitution faces challenges by parliament for daily operation. He cannot fully avoid the whims and fancies of the people’s reps. President cann’t do anything practically without having Budget passed. Parliament goes back to people if the Budget is lost, though the leader of the Parliament, President, unfairly remains safe from this debacle, but the second in Commands PM and speaker take the blow.
    Westminster system is not known for its rigid framing but for those who implements its. The first national government attempted was in Britain to cope with WWI. Ruling party wanted the full power. So instead of having polluted the constitution, the opposition party temporarily surrendered its power to ruling party to conduct the war without distraction.

  • 0
    0

    In those types of circumstances, once emergency is over, agreements go expired and flexing the constitution ceases to continue. No Sex Change operation of JR needed for them to draw the whole power of the Parliament. (National government utterly failed in Lankawe, other than for EP and PM working together to loot the CB and dismiss the Commission Report by dissolving the parliament.)
    Another example is in the recent one Brexit. Before election, Ex PM Camron contended for referendum and it was thought that promise helped him to win the election. Remember, that was only promise in election and it was only a perception that contributed to his victory. But personally he was against Brexit. Above all, he did know the referendum would be won and that is really bad for British political and economic future. To dodge people’s will, he didn’t go for Constitutional sex change operation, but simply took the risk & conducted his promise. When the referendum results came out, he felt things should not have happened in that way. The master in past Sun not Setting Empire, PM, was soon seen standing on a bridge viewing the scenery with family and tasting ice cream with all other tourists. What happened was instead of demanding sex change operation for all, he simply resigned within few days, and even quit the parliament. Under Westminster system, an incumbent PM while still had many years of his authority to lapse was reduced to an average citizen by the maturity of the leaders, neither by any election law manipulation nor by constitutional sex change operation. The simple fact is Wildlife Sanctuary, SinahaLE Lanakwe, has to be governed by animal husbandry laws not by constitution.

  • 0
    0

    The simple fact of why IC is interfering in Lankawe is not that they break the International Norms, but they honestly feel the Universal Franchise in Lankawe has a shortage and it need to be filled up.

    There are many similar powers exist to American president too, like the ones to the sex change operational president. But for 200 years, and may be for about 170 years after two party system, the constitutional crisis not encountered like the one in Lankawe. The reason is the all there power houses, president, congress and court, under all circumstances, attempt to only to attend their business rather than constantly struggling to curtail others authority or wielding their authority. There is always cry in the congress the presidents changing the court composure to one party advantage, but the courts have so far not created any crisis. Many time Congress and presidents are opposing components (Conservatives and Democrats). There are lots of frictions for quick powerful operation. But it remains as healthy democracy instead of it turns to be a need for manipulating election laws and do sex change operation. In Lankawe JR created the Sex Change operational constitution. He dismissed opposition using the Sinhala-Tamil feeling. He ran one party system. But this has not everything related to constitutional power. Because JR did know if he use Tamil-Sinhala Pogroms, the Universal Franchise of the country will go numb and he & his party are free to be barbarians.
    If president Trump engineers a way to disable Schumer, it is conservative party which is going to lose in the next election, not Schumer’s party. Because Lankaweyans wants to have created a dictator system, they wished well JR to dismiss Tamil Amirthalingam, gain power and then imprison Sirimavo.

  • 0
    0

    But when the war was over and as soon as it hit on Ranil and New King (opposing political parties’ PM and EP), this provoked a constitutional crisis. The Sex Change Constitution assumes its existence only for single party (, Either UNP or SLFP, not both). This situation was not met until today from 1978, because until 2009 Tamils were a cause to Sinhala leaders to be remaining united. Tamils always had enabled, until 2015, to one party to capture both Parliament and Presidency. One time there was two lessor dictators were in power. – Chandrika and Ranil; even there crisis started to show up. Temporarily Chandrika won. The crisis was wiped out by associating Ranil’s name with CFA, in the election followed. Chandrika’s Sudu Nelum became War for Peace movement & permanently victorious. Then the crisis remained solved for until 2015. Now when SLFPyer is president and UNPyer is prime minister and with a minor protection to PM position from EP firing him, the challenge to President Office has showed up.

    Further, when Thero was talking about the “constitution had to be considered as whole”, (not by amendments) he sound illiterate of Constitutional abuses (or at least pretended to be not knowing if that ever takes place). His call on that issue is to explore ways to create ostensible power creations through the existing sentences of the constitution (Like Foreign and Commonwealth lawyers and Judges). When he was asking to consider the whole constitution, he failed to remember the practical existence of the “Real State”, “Real government”, “Real Voters” and “Real IC i.e UN, Countries, residential foreign Diplomats” and include them too. If Thero had considered those elements, now Thero would not have difficult to explain why the Omnipotent President who refused convene parliament has now taken a step back without insisting sex change for every voter. Whatever it is Thero is an imbecile child to write “ “a strong and stable executive free from the whims and fancies of the legislature ”.

  • 0
    0

    Hear ye! Hear ye! Let’s give thanks. The Oracle has spoken. He has deigned to give us the benefit of his unique wisdom, favouring us with nothing less than a ‘Political Science Perspective’. For my part, the politics part is obvious but of science there’s little that’s evident. But, maybe, like Winnie the Pooh ‘I am a bear of very little brain’, and the profundity of his comments eludes me.
    DJ tells us that, “It is very true that the 19th amendment imposed certain fetters on the Presidency. However, the 19thamendment is not a new Constitution”. It may come as a surprise to DJ but even simple folk know that and are able to distinguish between and amendment and a new constitution. But most of us would not beat about the bush about what the 19th amendment did, and resort to saying things like it “imposed certain fetters on the Presidency”; we’d be more direct. We appreciate that the so called fetters included taking away from the President the power he had to dismiss a prime minister as easily as he could before. That was clearly the intention behind the amendment, and the likes of DJ are kidding themselves pretending it was otherwise.
    DJ has continued to lecture that “The 19th amendment is by definition, a modification of the existing Constitution. That modification is a structural change, not a system change”. So, what exact subtle difference is he trying to make? If he must resort to semantic nit picking, let me suggest to him that, arguably, an amendment is not a modification OF the constitution but a modification TO it.
    It has never ceased to amaze me how a man of such learning as DJ had never learned the skill to express himself simply, if, indeed, he wants to be read and understood and appreciated.

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