Thaksin: Referendum before charter rewrite

The government should first hold a referendum to gauge people's opinions on amendments to the constitution, before going ahead with the changes, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra said on Tuesday in a speech to the Asia Society in Hong Kong.

  • Published: 11/12/2012 at 03:43 PM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

Thaksin Shinawatra (Photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)

"The government is ready to accept the result of the referendum, and whether there will be enough votes is not a worrying issue," Thaksin said.

"Before, there was no justice in the Thai political system and I personally believe that a good reconciliation will happen when the law is enforced in a fair and equal manner.

"Reconciliation is not about me receiving an amnesty so that I can return home, because I'm already familiar with staying abroad," he said.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinwatra's elder brother said in his comments to foreign investors that there would be many positive things happening in Thailand next year and reconciliation would definitely happen.

Ms Yingluck said the government will not rush to push for parliament to vote on the charter amendment bill in the third reading, and will first listen to the people's opinions.

She also admitted her brother Thaksin had given her advice on this matter.

Yingluck Shinawatra (Photo by Thiti Wannamontha)

But, in principle, it would be decided by the parliament, she said.

"For the government, the main concern is for the country to have a way out and be at peace, in line with His Majesty the King's speech on Dec 5," she said.

Ms Yingluck said the cabinet has since assigned the Justice and Interior ministries to organise  public forums and a public referendum, and to report back on the result as soon as possible.

"We will not interfere in the parliamentarys process," she added.

The prime minister said her government attaches importance to  people's participation. So, a public referendum should be completed before a decision was made whether to proceed with the charter amendment billl vote in the third reading.

Asked to comment on the fact that whenever the issue of charter amendment is raised, conflict always ocurs, Ms Yingluck said the government was more concerned about public understanding.

The government wanted the people to participate in the decision-making process, she added.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Online Reporters
Position: Online Reporters

Latest stories in this category