SUNDAY, April 14, 2024

Disbanding Isoc, reforming military, preventing monopolies among 7 Move Forward bills

Disbanding Isoc, reforming military, preventing monopolies among 7 Move Forward bills

The Internal Security Operation Command (Isoc), seen as a powerful political tool of the military, will be among the first military mechanisms the Move Forward Party aims to get rid of through its first set of seven bills submitted to the House of Representatives.

Move Forward party-list MP Parit Wacharasindhu led a team of Move Forward MPs in submitting the seven bills to the House speaker on Tuesday afternoon.

Prachachart deputy leader Aripen Uttarasin represented House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha to receive the bills from the Move Forward MPs.

Speaking to reporters after submitting the bills, Parit said his party had promised during its election campaigns to use both executive and legislative mechanisms to improve laws in 14 areas to change the country for the better.

Since the government cannot be formed yet, Move Forward had decided to go ahead with the legislative mechanism to try to fulfil its election promises by submitting seven bills covering two groups of laws it sought to amend, Parit said.

Disbanding Isoc, reforming military, preventing monopolies among 7 Move Forward bills According to Parit, Move Forward plans to submit over 40 bills to amend laws in 14 groups covering military reform, bureaucratic reform, prevention of business monopoly, liberalising local administration, prevention of corruption, improving public services, land reform, labour rights protection, environment protection, tax reform, civil rights and liberty protection, promoting diversity, ending political conflicts, and charter reform.

Parit said Move Forward on Tuesday had submitted seven bills in two groups of reforms to the House – five on military reform and two on preventing business monopoly.

Disbanding Isoc, reforming military, preventing monopolies among 7 Move Forward bills Parit said the five military reform bills submitted on Tuesday were:

▪︎ A bill to end mandatory military conscription so that the Armed Forces would have only voluntarily recruited soldiers.

▪︎ A bill to amend the Defence Ministry Administrative Act to annul all special mechanisms that allow the military to have power over the civilian government. Parit said the Armed Forces must be under control of the civilian government in accordance with democratic principles.

▪︎ A bill to amend the financial discipline act to allow the government to audit military spending outside the normal annual budget details.

▪︎ A bill to amend the 2008 Internal Security Act to dissolve Isoc and to abolish all the orders of the National Council for Peace and Order, the organisation created by the 2014 coup masterminds, which are deemed violating civil rights and liberty.

Isoc is responsible for internal security in Thailand. It was established in 1958 during the Cold War to combat communist insurgencies in Thailand. Since then, it has expanded its mandate to include other threats to national security, such as terrorism, separatism, and political unrest.

Isoc has a wide range of powers, including the ability to conduct surveillance, detain suspects, and use force. It has been criticised for its heavy-handed tactics and its close ties to the Thai military. However, Isoc remains a powerful force in Thai politics and security.

Isoc was believed to play a key role in the suppression of leftist groups in the 1970s and in the use of force against pro-democracy protesters in 2014.

Disbanding Isoc, reforming military, preventing monopolies among 7 Move Forward bills In the second group, Parit said, his party had submitted two bills to promote free and fair business competition to prevent monopolies by large corporations.

The first bill is the progressive liquor bill, which was submitted by Move Forward to the previous House of Representatives and it was killed in the second reading, Parit said.

The second bill aims to promote trade competition. Parit said this bill would seek to form a committee with the power to prevent monopolies.

“Today is the start of our mission to reform the laws as we have submitted the first set of bills,” Parit said.

He said if the bills win support from other parties, it would lead to a good political atmosphere in Parliament.

Asked whether Move Forward did not fear that the military reform bills would prompt generals, who have been appointed senators, to vote against Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat in the second round of voting for prime minister vote on Wednesday, Parit replied: “I don’t think the PM vote will be affected. These bills are a part of our policies that we announced to the people before the election. Senators should actually like us for keeping our pre-poll promises.”