Coalition parties to seek charter amendments section-by-section

Coalition parties to seek charter amendments section-by-section

Democracy Monument is seen on Ratchadamnoen Avenue. Some political parties pushes for an amendment of the charter which they have branded as a product of dictatorship. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
Democracy Monument is seen on Ratchadamnoen Avenue. Some political parties pushes for an amendment of the charter which they have branded as a product of dictatorship. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

At least three government coalition parties are expected to team up to seek section-by-section charter amendments when parliament convenes during its new session on April 7.

Democrat leader Jurin Laksanawisit said his party has reached out to coalition partners -- the Bhumjaithai and Chartthaipattana Parties -- to renew their charter rewrite bid.

He said this time around, the Democrat Party will seek to amend the constitution section-by-section and that the party's legal team is now working on charter amendment motions.

Mr Jurin said each motion is strictly dedicated to one section to be revised instead of bundling several sections into one motion. If the motion is shot down, all the proposals are dropped.

Mr Jurin said the main target is Section 256, which currently says a charter amendment requires the support of at least one-third of all 250 senators, or 84, in the first and third readings of a charter amendment bill.

Another target is a provision allowing senate to join MPs in selecting a prime minister, Mr Jurin said, stressing that the constitution's Chapters 1 and 2 will be left unchanged.

Chapter 1 contains sections defining Thailand as a single, indivisible kingdom with a democratic regime and the King as the head of state. Chapter 2 contains sections which deal with royal prerogatives.

"Our stance is to push ahead with the charter amendment, but we will avoid creating unnecessary political problems," he said. "Otherwise, it will undermine efforts to revitalise the economy."

The Democrat leader also denied that the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) was intentionally left out of the new charter rewrite campaign.

Some people speculate that the PPRP was left out for engineering the rejection of an amendment bill last week.

When asked why the ruling party was not on board, Mr Jurin said it is up to the PPRP to decide to join.

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