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CDC decides to remove 10 touchy items from draft charter

Jun 23. 2015
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THE CONSTITUTION Drafting Committee (CDC) has agreed to remove 10 contentious issues from the draft charter as well as amend more than a hundred articles, a source said yesterday.

As for the controversial issue of allowing a non-elected premier to take the reins, the CDC has added a clause stipulating that the PM candidate must attain votes from at least two-thirds of all MPs to secure the position in every case. 

It has also suspended the open-list system, maintained the Election Commission’s power to organise elections and decided not to merge the National Human Rights Commission with the Office of the Ombudsman, though their overlapping responsibilities would be considered. 
The drafters have also removed Article 182, which would have given the PM the authority to propose important bills, and they would have been considered approved if MPs did not issue a no-confidence vote within 48 hours.
Article 181 has been amended to allow the PM to seek a vote of confidence from the House of Representatives, while the opposition will not be deprived of the right to launch a no-confidence bill. 
The CDC decided to cut down on the power of senators, though it maintains that senators should be indirectly elected. 
The drafters have chosen to maintain the mixed-member proportional election system, though the number of constituency MPs will be increased from 200 to 250 and the number of party-list MPs cut from 200 to 150. 
The committee has also accepted a suggestion from the Cabinet to merge the Independent Reform Promoting Committee and the National Reform Strategy Committee, and agreed to only stipulate necessary reforms in the charter. Other reform agenda would be put in the charter organic law. 
CDC spokesman Kamnoon Sidhisamarn admitted that the CDC had made a lot of changes and that more than 100 articles might need to be amended. 
He added that the final draft would be written by August 22.

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