Committee on charter change split over process

Committee on charter change split over process

The House committee studying constitutional amendments met for the first time on Tuesday, with members divided over how it should go about its work.

Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, the committee chairman, said while it was important to gather feedback from the public, the process should be conducted in parallel with the charter amendment study.

Paiboon Nititawan, the deputy chairman, said the committee should lay down a framework for the study first before discussing the details.

He added that the committee has yet to come up with issues for public airing, but the public can send their opinions to the committee.

Nirote Sunthornlekha, a Chartthaipattana Party MP, suggested that the Senate set up its own committee to study charter amendments, alongside the House committee, before public input is gathered.

Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, secretary-general of the Future Forward Party, said the charter amendment process must have the backing of the public, and it is essential to hold forums to listen to public views.

A sub-committee should be formed to sound people out, Mr Piyabutr said.

Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, a former election commissioner who sits on the committee, said amending Section 256 of the constitution would make revising the charter easier, though this would likely meet resistance from senators reluctant to relinquish their power.

Section 256 stipulates a constitutional amendment requires the support of at least one-third (84) of all 250 senators. This requirement is seen as a major hurdle to charter change.

Meanwhile, chief opposition whip Sutin Klungsang said the opposition will file a no-confidence motion against the government with the House Speaker next Monday.

Meanwhile, Chalerm Ubumrung, head of the Pheu Thai Party's special affairs committee, said yesterday the opposition would need at least three days in parliament to debate the censure motion against the government.

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