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The plan for an outsider PM is risky: Abhisit

Dec 28. 2014
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Ex-MP Nipit warns radical proposals could ruin charter
Democrat Party leader and former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva says the charter drafters’ proposal to allow the appointment of an “outsider” PM should not be included in the new constitution – because it is “dangerous” in normal circumstances. 
The former premier commented yesterday on various proposals put forward by charter drafters, especially the one on an “outsider” PM, which would abolish the requirement that candidates to be prime minister must be an elected representative of Parliament. 
However, he said the proposal may be acceptable in a crisis but believed such an outcome could be achieved without being written in the new constitution. 
The practical aspect of an “outsider” PM was questionable, Abhisit said, noting it would require approval from three-quarters of Parliament, and he thought outside candidates were unlikely to get such huge support. 
The former premier also expressed concern about other proposals by the charter drafters, such as their apparently negative view of political parties – and seeing strong parties as a threat to the country’s democracy.
Pointing to their proposal to scrap the requirement that representative candidates do not have to be members of political parties, he said this meant that once they get elected, they do not have to be responsible to their promises made to the public during the election campaign under the party’s name, and instead they can act with absolute freedom. 
Abhisit argued that the aim of charter drafters in political reforms should not be to weaken political parties, but rather create political parties with a strong organisational structure that do not belong to financiers or specific groups of people.
Peerasak Porchit, vice president of the National Legislative Assembly, came out to calm public speculation that the proposal to leave the door open for an “outsider” PM would provide the junta with a future opportunity to hold its grip on power after the new constitution is implemented.
He said he was convinced that there was no member of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) who wanted to continue in politics after the new charter came into effect, and the proposal on “outsider” PM was only intended to be used in a crisis.
On the CDC’s proposal to empower all appointed senators by giving them the power to scrutinise the qualifications and profiles of ministerial candidates and propose bills, he said he personally preferred there were both elected and appointed senators to reflect people’s representation in the Senate as written in the 2007 constitution.
Peerasak said that he and many other NLA members agreed that there should be a referendum on the charter. However, it is the responsibility of the charter drafters to propose to the NCPO and the government to hold a referendum. 
Former Democrat MP, Nipit Intarasombat criticised some of the political reform proposals of the CDC as too radical, saying he was worried they would create future problems rather than solve them. 
Nipit predicted that because some reform proposals were highly controversial, the charter would not be supported in a public referendum. However, if the NCPO decided not to hold a referendum, there will be more problems.
The former MP suggested that the focus of the junta should be to solve the key problems in society rather than changing the entire system, which was unnecessary.

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