DEFENCE Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan accepted yesterday that there are supporters and backers of the new charter currently being drafted but he said amendments could still be made and people who oppose the draft have ways to communicate their views t
He said that all charter drafters, while appointed by the junta, had independent thoughts and could pursue their ideas and contribute freely, with the collective goal to move the country forward from past conflicts, for the benefit of all 70 million Thai citizens.
Adul Keawboriboon, president of the Commission of Relatives of the May 1992 Heroes, submitted documents yesterday to Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) chief Borwornsak Uwanno, asking him to reconsider the provision that allows a non-MP or “outsider” to become prime minister. “We acknowledge the necessity for the CDC to create an alternative way out in times of political crisis. However, such a provision would allow a PM who does not have to come via an election, who has no connection to the people, which goes against the principles of democratic rulings and could spur a new round of conflict,” he said.
However, Adul, offered some ground for compromise by proposing that extra rules be created to control the non-elected PM – a limited time frame for an “outsider PM” holding office in a time of crisis, and that he or she must have a clean record.
In May 1992, there was a popular protest in Bangkok against the prime minister at the time, General Suchinda Kraprayoon. The protesters were angry because Suchinda had not been elected, and the protest escalated into violence and a military crackdown that caused dozens of civilian deaths and left thousands injured.