Meechai to hand over revised charter to PM

Meechai to hand over revised charter to PM

Royal sanction tipped for early next month

Chief charter drafter Meechai Ruchupan has yet another version of the draft constitution ready for the government - and he's calling it 'the final draft'. (Post Today photo)
Chief charter drafter Meechai Ruchupan has yet another version of the draft constitution ready for the government - and he's calling it 'the final draft'. (Post Today photo)

The final version of the new constitution will be handed over to the government today so it can be submitted for royal endorsement.

Meechai Ruchupan, head of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), said he will submit the revised draft charter to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at Government House.

The final draft has been revised in line with the suggestions of the Constitutional Court after the extra question was approved in the Aug 7 referendum.

Under the new charter, senators can join MPs in proposing a motion to suspend a rule requiring prime ministerial candidates to come from political party lists if a joint MP-Senate session fails to vote for a PM from those lists.

Previously, only MPs were allowed to propose a motion to suspend the rule.

Once the rule is suspended, at least one-tenth of the MPs can initiate a motion to nominate individuals not included in the party lists for the position of prime minister so the joint House-Senate session can vote to endorse a candidate.

However, the court determined that senators will not be permitted to nominate a prime minister.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said Monday the government is not allowed to make any changes to the final draft.

Its job is to enter the charter's content in the  -- a long, narrow book made up of paper sheets bound together, traditionally used to inscribe important documents, including the constitution.

He said the government has 30 days to get the inscription done and submit the constitution to His Majesty the King for endorsement, which is expected to happen early next month.

The charter is likely to be enforced next month.

According to Mr Meechai, the CDC expects to finish drafting two organic bills -- governing the Election Commission and the political parties -- before the other organic drafts.

He said the drafters plan to submit these bills to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) for consideration a day after the constitution takes effect.

Mr Meechai also voiced disagreement over a proposal for party members in a province to vote in selecting the party's candidates for an election, saying it was impractical.

He said the proposal would strain the financial resources of parties. Mr Meechai said the CDC would figure out how to let party members have a say. "We're considering [doing it through] party branches and party representatives. We want to help them save as much in costs as we can," he said.

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