Chaturon: Charter referendum risky
- Published: 23/12/2012 at 07:14 PM
- Online news:
The government’s plan for a referendum on constitutional amendment is at risk of failing to pass, former acting leader of the now defunct Thai Rak Thai Party Chaturon Chaisaeng said on Sunday.
Writing in his Facebook and Twitter websites, Mr Chaturon said he disagreed with the charter referendum plan and suggested the government move ahead with the third reading of the draft amendment bill.
Another option for the government is to rewrite the 2007 constitution section by section, he added.
He said under harsh conditions stipulated in Section 165 of the charter, it will not be easy for the government to encourage half of the eligible voters - about 24 million - to turn out as required.
If the charter amendment fails to pass the referendum, it would also be difficult for the government to move to other plans to rewrite the whole constitution or to alter it section by section, he said.
Under the 2007 constitution, the draft charter change bill stalled in parliament pending a third reading, also requires a national referendum in the final stage, Mr Chaturon said.
Section 165 requirements make it very difficult for the referendum to get approval from the majority of eligible voters. It is different from the referendum on whether to accept the 2007 constitution, which required only more than half of the turn-out of eligible voters to pass, he added.
Given the different conditions, opponents of charter change would not have to do anything to cause the referendum to fail. All they would have to do is to stay at home or launch a campaign for people to stay at home, he said.
“I personally feel that the government should scrap its referendum plan as it is a political ploy set by the groups opposing the charter change.
“If the referendum goes ahead, the same condition for the 2007 charter referendum which required only a majority of voters should be implemented.
”Another option is to go ahead with the third reading of the draft charter amendment bill,” Mr Chaturon said.
About the author
- Writer: Aekarach Sattaburuth