Sri Lanka's Parliament votes overwhelmingly to clip extensive presidential powers

Sri Lanka's Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to clip the extensive powers of the president, making him answerable to Parliament, a key pledge President Maithripala Sirisena made in the run up to his January election win.

The bill needed two-thirds of the votes in the 225-member Parliament and 212 lawmakers voted in its favor with only one voting against. One lawmaker abstained and 10 others were absent.

The speaker does not usually vote.

The new law strips the office of immunity from lawsuits, brings back a two-term limit for president and transfers powers to appoint judges, police and bureaucrats to independent commissions.

Also a president will not be able to dissolve Parliament at his or her will.