PM wants charter drafting fast tracked
Heeding voices calling for a speedier political transition, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said last week that he wants a new group of charter writers to produce a draft faster than the six months they have been allotted so that the country can return to democracy without unnecessary delay.
The Prime Minister voiced his call for a speedier drafting process during a meeting of the Cabinet and the National Council for Peace and Order. According to the Bangkok Post, the “premier said he wanted it wrapped up quickly to expedite the return to democracy and build a stronger Thailand.”
The government has been weathering criticism following the rejection of the first version of a draft constitution two weeks ago by the National Reform Council, which voted 135 to 105 against it with seven abstentions. The Council’s rejection means that a new committee must be appointed to write a new draft, which must then be approved by a newly appointed reform body before it can submitted to the public in a referendum.
Elections for a new government would follow a few months after that, as organic laws facilitating national polls would need to be passed.
The entire process has been estimated at 20 months, roughly six or seven months longer than the Prime Minister had originally said the government would remain in power before restoring democratic rule.
Within that time frame, a new constitution drafting committee must be appointed within a month of the previous draft’s rejection, meaning the first week of October. That 21-member committee will have six months to write a new draft. Prime Minister Prayut said, however, that he wants the committee to take less than six months, although he did not spell out a specific time frame.
Thailand Focus September 21, 2015
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