Roadmap to the election
- With the return of peace and order for the last 11 months, Thailand is focusing on moving forward and building a foundation for a stronger and more sustainable democracy. Thailand is making constant progress in implementing the roadmap towards democratic resilience.
- We are in the 2nd phase of the announced 3-Phase Roadmap, which focuses on reconciliation, reforms, and reinvigoration of democratic institutions. During the last quarter of 2014, the National Reform Council (NRC) intensively deliberated on reform recommendations in 18 areas, which were sent in from all over the country through every means possible, including the social media and academic symposiums.
- The emphasis is indeed on inclusiveness. Views from our foreign friends were also taken in from a successful symposium “On the Path to Reform” on 3 December 2014.
- The views from all sides are taken into account in the ongoing reform process including the drafting of the new constitution. The first draft is finished as scheduled and is submitted to the National Reform Council for consideration.
- The Prime Minister has affirmed that the general election could be held by early 2016 after the constitutional processes are complete and conditions as outlined in the Roadmap are met.
- Most importantly, the current government aims to provide a good foundation for this reform process to continue for subsequent governments, with the long-term goal of a sustainable and people-centered development.
Progress on the 2nd phase of the Roadmap
- All mechanisms envisaged in the Roadmap are making good progress on their mandates considering that they are working under time constraints.
- The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has passed many important law amendments and new laws needed to modernize Thailand’s administrative and justice system. They will also further improve human rights, animal rights, environmental preservation, and income distribution in Thailand.
- The National Reform Council (NRC) has encouraged as wide as possible public contributions to the reform debate, which is key to a meaningful and successful reforms of the country. The NRC has also held meetings with political parties and political groups, providing a stage for them to voice their concerns and options.
- Moreover, we are also open to opinions from our foreign friends. In December 2014 we held a seminar “On the Path to Reform” where useful recommendations have been taken up at the Reform Council.
- The NRC also continues to play an active role in pushing forward structural and systematic reforms through changes in laws and regulations, as well as administrative restructuring. Meeting and workshops will be held with an aim to envision and draft a blueprint for reforms.
- The reform will focus on 4 main areas, namely: public sector, private sector, civil society, and politics. Proposals that have been envisaged include, among other things, decentralization of the administration, eradicating and preventing corruption, as well as ensuing a people – centered governmental service.
Drafting of the new constitution
- On 19 December 2014, the NRC and NLA submitted proposals and recommendations to the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), who is obliged to deliver the first draft of a new constitution within 120 days from the date of submission of recommendation, in this case by the end of April 2015.
- The CDC delivered the first draft of a new constitution by the end of April 2015 as scheduled.
- The draft of a new constitution that has been included:
– The formulation of a fair electoral system, and the composition of the House of Representative and the Senate;
– Measures to enhance provincial governance;
– Rights and responsibilities of citizens;
– Eradicating and preventing corruption;
– Mechanisms for checks and balances among different institutions.
- All are based on the same goal of strengthening and reinvigorating Thailand’s democratic
- A clear timeline for subsequent process has also been laid out:
– May 2015: amendments to the draft constitution may be tabled within 40 days by the NRC, the Cabinet and the NCPO.
– June 2015: the CDC revises the draft constitution based on recommendations and proposed amendments as received.
– July 2015: the CDC is expected to submit the final draft of the constitution to the NRC.
– August 2015: the NRC is to vote on the draft constitution.
– September 2015: given the approval of the NRC, the draft constitution will be presented for Royal assent.
- The Chairman of the CDC indicated that the draft constitution could be given Royal assent by September 2015
- The general election could be held by early 2016 if all conditions outlined in the Roadmap are met.
- In case where consensus requires a referendum on the new constitution, this process will take place between March – April 2016, in which case elections will be held by mid – 2016.
- This transitional period is a crucial moment for the future of all Thai people. The government calls for all sides to overcome their differences and join hands in finding the right solutions for the Thai society and return the country to a sustainable and strong democracy.