Six changes in constitution

Six changes in constitution

Changes were made to six sections of the draft constitution after it passed the referendum in August, the promulgated charter has shown.

The Royal Gazette published the new charter on Thursday after it was promulgated by His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun.

After the draft passed the referendum in August, it was submitted to the King for approval. Cabinet ministers said the King had made some suggestions about the sections involving royal prerogatives and the changes had nothing to do with the rights and liberties of the people.

The changes were not known until Thursday when the final constitution came into effect.

When compared to the referendum draft, changes were made to six sections of the referendum draft.

Section 5, the so-called crisis management clause, of the referendum version, provides that in cases where no provision applies to any case, a meeting will be convened among the heads of the Constitutional Court, Senate, Supreme Court, Supreme Administrative Court and independent organisations, as well as the speakers of the House, opposition leaders and the prime minister. The decision of the joint meeting shall be deemed final and binding on all state bodies.

The new charter eliminated such clauses and changed it back to the text of the 2007 charter, which says: "Whenever no provision under this Constitution is applicable to any case, it shall be decided in accordance with the constitutional convention in the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State".

The second change involves Section 16 on the Regent. The referendum version requires the King appoint the Regent when he is not in the kingdom or could not perform duties.

The new constitution dropped that requirement and the King may or may not appoint the Regent in such cases. He may also name a person or a group of persons as the Regent.

Sections 17 and 18 did away with the requirement that the Privy Council name the Regent and send it to Parliament for approval when the King is not in the kingdom or cannot perform duties.

The new charter requires the Privy Council propose for parliamentary approval the names of a person or group of persons on a list that His Majesty has previously made by consecutive order.

Section 19 added a clause that does not require the Regent who has already been appointed and sworn in to be sworn in again.

The second clause of Section 182 of the referendum draft which says: "The person countersigning the Royal Command shall take charge of all affairs under the Royal Command" was cut as the first clause already says: "All laws, Royal Rescripts and Royal Commands relating to the State affairs must be countersigned by a Minister".

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