Srisuwan targets MFP charter-change bid

Srisuwan targets MFP charter-change bid

EC should scrutinise party motion, he says

Activist and prolific petitioner Srisuwan Janya says he will petition the Election Commission (EC) to look into whether the Move Forward Party (MFP) broke the law on political parties by proposing to amend the constitution's Chapters 1 and 2 which contain general principles and sections associated with the monarchy.

The Association for the Protection of the Thai Constitution secretary-general cited Section 92 (2) of the law (on political parties), which allows the commission to propose the dissolution of a party to the Constitutional Court if it has obtained enough evidence the party has committed an act deemed hostile to a democratic regime with the king as the head of state.

The move comes after MFP list-MP Natthawut Buaprathum said on Wednesday the party would propose a motion to amend Chapters 1 and 2 of the constitution, Mr Srisuwan said. Chapter 1 contains sections which define Thailand as a single, indivisible kingdom and a democratic regime with the king as the head of state. Chapter 2, meanwhile, contains sections which deal with royal prerogatives.

Mr Srisuwan said Section 255 of the constitution also prohibits any amendments that seek to change a democratic regime with the king as the head of state. He said the issue is a delicate matter as it involves the monarchy and would hurt the public's feelings. If the motion is tabled to parliament, it would inevitably lead to a debate, Mr Srisuwan said.

The MFP is trying to amend Chapters 1 and 2 despite other opposition parties leaving the two chapters untouched in their joint charter rewrite motion, Mr Srisuwan said. In a separate move yesterday, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, a member of the budget scrutinising committee, asked about the increase of the budget for working units under His Majesty the King from previous years. The Budget Bureau replied it was increased following the transfer of personnel from other agencies such as the military.

On Wednesday, Sukit Atthopakorn, adviser to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai, said Mr Chuan has put the opposition's charter rewrite motion on parliament's agenda for Aug 28.

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