Opposition to oppose charter change
- Published: 31/03/2013 at 04:30 PM
- Online news:
Opposition whips on Sunday agreed to oppose the three charter amendment bills to be deliberated in a joint sitting of the House of Representatives and the Senate in the first reading on April 1-3.
Jurin Laksanavisit, chief of the opposition whips, said more than 30 MPs of the Democrat Party alone had asked to take the floor to debate the bills.
The debating time slots for the government and opposition MPs had yet to be settled with the government whips.
He said the opposition agreed to oppose the proposed amendments to the constitution because the senators and MPs who proposed the bills had done so to serve the interest of one another, and only certain groups of politicians or individuals would benefit from the changes.
Mr Jurin said it was obvious that the MPs proposed amendments to some provisions to enable senators to run for re-election. The intentions of the 1997 and 2007 constitutions are for senators to serve only one term, he said.
At the same time, the senators proposed amendment to Section 68 of the 2007 constitution to restrict the people's right to petition the Constitution Court against any move deemed detrimental to the constitution.
Under the proposal, the people could only file a petition to protect the constitution through the Office of the Attorney General.
The senators sought to amend Section 237 so that party executive committee members would not be banned from politics for five years and the parties whose members committed electoral fraud would not have to be dissolved. This was done to serve the interests of MPs.
Mr Jurin said the opposition also disagreed with the proposed amendment to Section 190. Under the proposed change, draft agreements concerning trade and investment with other countries would be taken out and would no longer require approval from parliament.
This, if approved, it would enable the government to enter a foreign trade agreement (FTA) with any country or enter a contract with any country on projects involving energy and other natural resources in overlapping areas without requiring parliamentary approval, Mr Jurin said.
Asked whether the opposition would petition the Constitution Court against the proposed amendment to Section 68, Mr Jurin said this matter had not been raised for discussion.
About the author
- Writer: Pradit Ruangdit