Pheu Thai urges partial amendment

Pheu Thai urges partial amendment

Calls are growing for parliament to amend the constitution on a chapter-to-chapter basis, with opposition lawmakers urging the House to avoid getting bogged down on contentious issues which hinder the charter amendment process.

Pheu Thai MP for Bangkok, Anudit Nakhonthap, on Sunday said the government, opposition and Senate should select issues which they can agree on to kickstart the proceedings.

Group Captain Anudit said as many stakeholders are leaning towards a chapter-by-chapter approach, MPs and senators should find the time to sit down and discuss the sections which they want to see amended.

"We have to proceed with the issues we agree on. The contentious points should be left for later," he said.

Gp Capt Anudit said the charter amendment process should not be derailed, as the country will be trapped in a never-ending political conflict.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam on Sunday expressed support for this approach, saying the process would not be complicated if the targeted sections do not require a referendum to be amended.

"Amending the charter section-by-section is less time-consuming. If they can agree on the issues to be revised and leave the contentious ones alone for now, it is a good approach," he said.

Meanwhile, Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) deputy leader, Paiboon Nititawan said the party has listed 10 sections which it wants revised, and which it plans to forward to Pheu Thai and the Senate.

"Their support is very much needed to amend the charter," he said.

While he declined to disclose the details, he said none of these involve Section 256, and as such, they do not require a national referendum.

However, Somkid Chuekong, Pheu Thai MP for Ubon Ratchathani, scorned Mr Paiboon's plan, calling instead on the PPRP MP to discuss the issue with its coalition partners first.

Separately, Paradorn Prissanananthakul, spokesman of the Bhumjaithai Party, said a national referendum is needed to determine if the people really want a new charter to be drawn up.

He said all stakeholders could press the government to call a referendum, noting that Section 166 of the constitution allows the cabinet to hold a referendum.

"I still want to see the new constitution drawn by a charter-drafting body," he said.

Move Forward Party spokesman, Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn, backed a referendum, saying the questions must be simple and to the point to avoid confusing the general public.

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