New Draft Constitution will go to referendum by August 2016

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of latest development

On 6 September 2015, the National Reform Council of Thailand voted not to accept the new Constitution draft, submitted by the Constitution Drafting Committee, by a majority vote of 135 to 105 with 7 abstained from voting.

What does this mean?

Following the vote, it means that both the National Reform Council (NRC) of 247 members and the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) of 36 members completed their terms on 6 September 2015.

As a result, a national referendum, previously scheduled in January 2016, will now be postponed. No other issues remain to be put to a referendum.

What next?

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Consequently, the National Council of Peace and Order (NCPO) will appoint the Constitution Drafting Committee President and no more than 20 committee members within 30 days (5 October 2015).

This new Constitution Drafting Committee is tasked with drafting another constitution and submitting a final draft within 6 months (by April 2016) – before putting it into a referendum, which will take approximately another 4 months – that is by August 2016.

In parallel, the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) of not more than 200 members will be established by the Prime Minister to continue working on the national reform agendas (after the NRC), but will not be participating in the drafting of the constitution.

After the referendum, in line with the 3-Phase Roadmap, there will be processes of promulgation of the Constitution as well as drafting and promulgating of necessary organic laws before election campaign can finally commence. That will then followed by a general election and a formation of a new government, which could be as early as July 2017.


In summary

Sept. – Oct. 2015 – New Constitution Drafting Committee (21 members) is appointed
Oct. 2015-Apr. 2016 – Drafting of a new constitution (within 6 months)
Apr. – Aug. 2016 – New draft of the constitution is submitted to a referendum (within 4 months)
Sept. 2016 – Promulgation of the Constitution
Sept. – Oct. 2016 – Drafting of organic laws (within 2 months)
Oct. 2016 – Jan. 2017 – National Legislative Assembly (NLA) passes organic laws (within 3 months)
Feb. 2017 – Organic laws are sent to the Constitutional Court for consideration (within 1 month)
Mar. 2017 – Promulgation of organic laws, election campaign commences.
Mar. – Jun, 2017 – General election is held (within 3 months)
Jul. 2017 – New government is formed (within 1 month)

Structure Sep 2015

Now and Ahead
View from American business communities in Thailand


(Source: Bloomberg)


Information Section
Royal Thai Embassy