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Meechai to rely on 1992 experience on 'outsider PM'

Oct 09. 2015
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THE idea of an "outsider", non-MP prime minister has not been ruled out by the new Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), though chairman Meechai Ruchupan said he will use Black May as a lesson and a reminder. The Black May political crisis partially st
“But I’m not sure whether it was the principle of non-MP premier or the person that was opposed by the people at that time,” he said. 
Meechai had also chaired the 1992 charter drafting committee, which allowed then coup-maker General Suchinda Kraprayoon to become premier after election. However, the chairman refused to speculate on whether the new charter would share the same fate as the 1992 one, joking that he would first have to study astrology before he could foretell the future. 
The CDC is sending out official invites to related agencies, such as the National Council for Peace and Order and the National Legislative Assembly, to submit their opinions on the charter, he said, adding that though everybody’s voice would be considered, the real focus is the country and the people. 
The CDC chairman also said that though his predecessor Borwornsak Uwanno had turned down the invitation to become an adviser to the CDC, he has recommended Jade Donavik, a member of the previous panel, for the job. 
CDC spokesperson Norachit Sinhaseni said the panel had resolved yesterday to officially appoint three advisers: Jade, Somkit Lertpaithoon, and Kanchanarat Leeviroj. The latter two worked as secretaries of the 2007 and 2015 CDCs respectively. 
He added that the panel had also decided to set up a subcommittee to help with the drafting, and appointed Ajaporn Jarujinda as chairman. The subcommittee’s job is to come up with drafts for the CDC to choose from, Norachit said. However, he added, the chapters on the legislative and executive branches may be left up to the CDC, which would take into account studies done by other relevant subpanels. 
Another subcommittee, which will be tasked with examining the structure of the legislative branch under different regimes, is to be chaired by Prapan Naikovit.
Prapan revealed that his panel planned to study the composition of the House of Representatives and the Senate, adding that it would also look into the mixed-member proportional system proposed by the last CDC. 
As for the progress in charter writing, the CDC yesterday discussed the frameworks on which to base mechanisms to restructure and drive the economy and society, which includes a mechanism to prevent the use of any public administration as a means to develop political popularity or populist policies. 
Another point discussed yesterday was the creation of a mechanism to keep an eye on government spending and debt, as well as the empowering of the Auditor-General. 

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