NLA passes Sangha Act amendment bill

NLA passes Sangha Act amendment bill

The National Legislative Assembly on Thursday passes in three straight readings a bill to amend the 1992 Sangha Act. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
The National Legislative Assembly on Thursday passes in three straight readings a bill to amend the 1992 Sangha Act. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

The National Legislative Assembly on Thursday passed in three straight readings a bill to amend the 1992 Sangha Act and restore an old tradition in which the King reserves the right to appoint the supreme patriarch.

The NLA Sangha met to consider the amendment bill, which sailed through with 182 votes in favour and six abstentions.

Pol Gen Pichit Khuandechakupt, chairman of the NLA committee on religion, arts, culture and tourism, proposed the change to the 1992 Sangha Act on the grounds the country should return to its traditions. A total of 84 NLA members signed in support of the amendment. 

The NLA explained the amendment to Section 7 of the Sangha Act to the cabinet through Prime Minister's Office Minister Ormsin Chivapruck. 

Section 7 was amended to state the King appoints a successor after the supreme patriarch has left office or is unable to perform his duties. It also states the prime minister, "with the Sangha Supreme Council's consent", nominates the candidate to be royally appointed as the new supreme patriarch.

The Buddhism Protection Centre of Thailand (BPCT), an ally of the Sangha Supreme Council (SSC), earlier threatened to mobilise monks and the general public to oppose the amendment.


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