19A Minus: A Middle Path

There were four main winners in the battle over 19th Amendemnt. Of them, the second biggest winner was President Sirisena who was able to retain much of his power while balancing adroitly between the two contending components of his power base: his ally the UNP and his party the SLFP. The biggest winner however, was not President Sirisena. It was a dead man, President Junius Richard Jayewardene. His 1978 Constitution proved so robust a structure, that it successfully resisted the joint attempt of his distant nephew Ranil Wickremesinghe and his old rival Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s daughter Chandrika Kumaratunga to upend its center-piece, the executive presidency.

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