Sri Lanka parliament votes to curb president's powers

Mahinda Rajapaksa addresses to supporters as he attends an election rally in the Colombo suburb of Piliyandala on January 5, 2015 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had extended powers, was defeated in elections in January

Sri Lanka's parliament has voted to curb the powers of the president and restore a two-term limit for incumbents.

Former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, who suffered a shock defeat in elections in January, had expanded his powers.

The amendment had been promised by his successor, Maithripala Sirisena.

Deputies also voted to remove the president's power to dissolve parliament until it has completed four-and-a-half years of its five-year term.

Before, the president had the power to sack parliament after only one year.

Mr Rajapaksa spent a decade in power.

He scrapped two-term limits for the president after he was re-elected in 2010, allowing him to stand a third time.

He also granted himself greater powers over the police, civil service and judiciary allowing him to appoint all the top judges.

President Sirisena was elected on a pledge to fight corruption.

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