Constitution committee to court opinion
Feedback process to begin in Phitsanulok
A House committee studying constitutional amendments will gather feedback from various groups starting on Saturday.
Rangsiman Rome, an MP of the dissolved Future Forward Party (FFP) who sits on the committee, said that they will travel to Phitsanulok to hear charter proposals from local people today.
The committee will then meet representatives from the disabled on Monday, from the civil sector and women's groups on Tuesday, from labourers on Wednesday, the elderly on March 18, political parties on March 19 and ethnic groups on March 24.
Mr Rangsiman said the committee will also invite representatives of the Committee Campaigning for a People's Constitution, and student activists who are holding anti-government rallies to give their opinions on charter changes to the committee at parliament on March 13.
Chaithawat Tulathong, the House committee secretary, said the members are also willing to visit universities to hear what students and lecturers have to say about the constitutional amendments.
The opposition, led by the Pheu Thai Party, has campaigned vigorously to rewrite what critics have described as a seriously flawed constitution.
One of the key issues targeted for change is a provision allowing senators to join the House of Representatives in voting for a prime minister.
The Democrat Party, a coalition partner, also insisted on charter change as a precondition for joining the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP)-led coalition government.
Constitutional amendment was also one of the 12 priorities detailed in the policy statement that the Prayut Chan-o-cha government declared before parliament at the outset of his administration.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Chuan Leekpai said that a petition submitted by MPs from small political parties requesting an extraordinary House session to seek ways of easing political tensions stemming from anti-government student rallies launched in the wake of FFP's dissolution did not meet requirements set by the constitution.
The petition was only signed by three MPs, including Phichet Sathirachawal, the leader of the Prachathamthai Party, but Section 123 of the constitution stipulates that one-third of both MPs and senators are required to hold a special session to discuss urgent issues, Mr Chuan said.