Interim Consitution amendment to allow plebsicite on interim charter
THE provisional charter will be amended to allow for a referendum on the draft constitution and for more questions to be asked on the ballot, the National Council for Peace and Order and the Cabinet agreed yesterday.
This could allow for a question to be included in the plebiscite asking the public if they want the Prayut government to stay on for a certain period of time to oversee the reform process.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said if the referendum, which could be held around the end of January or beginning of February, rejects the proposed charter, a new Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) would be formed to redo the whole process. The current charter drafters would not be barred from the new committee and another referendum would have to be held for the new draft charter. In that case, the new CDC would only have 21 members instead of 36 members at present.
Thailand will not be trapped in a vicious cycle of drafting and redrafting because if there is another rejection, an old charter will be dusted off and adopted, he said.
Under the draft amendment, the National Reform Council (NRC) will be dissolved whether or not it endorses the draft charter, and a new 200-member council will be established to drive the reform process. NRC members might be appointed to that council as well, Wissanu said.
The CDC has been given |30 additional days to finish its |work.
The joint meeting also decided to amend the provisional charter of 2014 to allow for the heir apparent, or a person designated by |His Majesty the King, to preside over the swearing-in ceremony |of officials on behalf of His Majesty.