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'Another round of amendments to draft charter not needed'

Jul 06. 2015
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By THE NATION

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WISSANU SAYS EXISTING PROCESS WILL SUFFICE
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER Wissanu Krea-ngam has dismissed talk of the interim charter going through another amendment phase to facilitate disrupted reform work. He said existing channels were enough to tackle the task.
Wissanu’s dismissal came after the National Reform Council chairman Thienchay Kiranandana said that to complete the reform work further amendment of the interim charter may be needed. 
Wissanu said the reform process could be pursued and achieved with the existing administrative infrastructure, as there was no rush and existing agencies could handle the work.
He said he did not want to see the work being carried out with the enforcement of laws, but would rather see concerned agencies volunteering to do it. 
He would discuss the NRC’s remaining timeframe with the body and would also consult it about the crafting of the national strategic plan, which was expected to be based on the NRC’s reform plan. 
A few priorities would be selected and discussed with the concerned agencies to determine how to pursue them, but the details would be laid out by a new national strategic planning body, Wissanu added.
Wissanu also dismissed concerns that the strategic plan would be left on the shelf, saying the new constitution states clearly the commitment that future governments would have to proceed with the state’s fundamental policies and the national strategic plans. 
If they failed to do so, they could face a grilling in Parliament, he said. 
Wissanu rejected criticism that future governments would be too restricted in implementing the policies, saying they had to follow what was stated in the constitution. 
He said the plan was similar to the state’s fundamental policies and previous national plans developed by the National Social and Economic Development Office that past governments implemented.
“I would like to stress here that it’s not about an effort to hang on to power,” Wissanu said, in reference to the current government. “Any government has some framework, which is usually stated in the constitution, to proceed with.
“We should not think that it would cause conflicts or make the future government feel uncomfortable. I used to sit in past governments and felt uncomfortable before but as we had a commitment we managed to accomplish the task.”
Wissanu said lawmakers were considering the best way to make elected governments follow the national strategic plan, but also give them respect by allowing them to adjust the plan to suit themselves.
He said it was not clear yet which agency would be in charge of supervising the plan although some speculation had emerged that the National Security Council would be in charge. 
Wissanu simply said the council’s security work was part of the plan.

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