TUESDAY, February 27, 2024

Thanathorn to hand ‘Unlock Local’ petition to Parliament

Thanathorn to hand ‘Unlock Local’ petition to Parliament

The Progressive Movement says its national campaign for charter change to decentralise power has received enough public support to trigger a motion in Parliament.

The 90-day “Unlock Local” campaign to amend Article 14 of the Constitution received 80,772 signatures between April 1 and June 30, Progressive Movement leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit announced on Monday. The amendment would shift power from central government to local administrative organisations (LAOs).

“The overwhelming support for the campaign we received in the past three months is an indication that Thai people are aware of the issues that local administration organisations are facing,” said Thanathorn.

The campaign is pushing for the following five changes.

1. LAOs to have power over all public services except national finance, military and foreign affairs.

2. Reduction of overlapping duties among LAOs, regional and central authorities.

3. LAOs to be allocated 50 per cent of the national budget.

4. LAOs to have full jurisdiction without intervention from regional and central authorities.

5. Local people to be able to participate in public hearings on important local issues, and to vote to remove local administrators. Citizen councils to be established to supervise budget planning and allocation.

Thanathorn said he will present the signatures to Parliament next Monday (July 11). At least 50,000 signatures are required to have a draft amendment considered in Parliament. He hoped that the motion would be considered by Parliament in November.