Further Development on Thailand’s Constitution Drafting

Thailand is currently in phase 2 of the 3-phase Roadmap (Reconciliation – Reform – Elections). The focus of the country now is to undertake comprehensive reform and lay a solid foundation to achieve people-centered and sustainable development and prosperity, while a new constitution is being drafted.

The Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC) has completed the provisions on legislative powers and the House of Representative whereas the debate on the contents relating to the House of the Senate is still on-going.

According to the timeframe outlined by the CDC, the first draft is expected to be completed by 29 January 2016. Subsequently, the draft will be disseminated nationwide to seek comments and recommendations from the public. This process will provide ample opportunity for the people to reflect on the content of the draft and ensure that it is accepted by all.

The other four primary bodies – the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), the Cabinet, the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) and the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) will also submit their recommendations to the CDC.

All comments and recommendations will be taken into account and the CDC will deliberate and revise the draft based on the recommendations so received. The final draft will be completed by April 2016 before being forwarded to the Election Commission for a national referendum.

The entire constitution drafting process is expected to take approximately 20 months (6 months for the CDC to complete the drafting/ 4 months for a National Referendum/ 6 months for implementation of the necessary organic laws/ 4 months for political campaigns prior to holding general elections).

According to this timeframe, general elections are then expected to take place in June 2017. A democratically-elected government is then expected to be in place by July of 2017.