Dems unveil charter change plan

Dems unveil charter change plan

Electoral tweak key part of proposal

The Democrat Party has unveiled its proposal for charter amendments which include the reinstatement of the 2007 electoral system.

Ramet Rattanachaweng, Democrat Party spokesman, said the proposed amendments cover six issues and the bills will also be proposed to two coalition partners, the Bhumjaithai and the Chartthaipattana parties, for consideration before they are submitted to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai.

The first issue involves the rights of people: rights to justice administration, land ownership rights, consumers' rights and community rights.

Four sections are targeted in the amendment to ensure these rights are promoted and better protected.

The second issue deals with the electoral system. The Democrat Party proposes a switch back to the election system endorsed in the 2007 charter in which voters use two ballots in a general election -- one for 400 constituency MPs and the other for 100 party-list MPs.

According to Mr Ramet, the third issue involves the selection of the prime minister and three sections -- 88, 159 and 272 -- are targeted in the amendment.

Section 88 of the constitution says that before a general-election campaign begins, every party can declare up to three prime ministerial candidates to the Election Commission (EC) which will later submit the list of all candidates to the public before the election takes place.

Mr Ramet said, however, that the section allows parties to not submit the prime ministerial candidates to the EC.

The party seeks to remove this and make it mandatory for every party to name its prime ministerial candidate.

Section 159 and Section 272 will be amended to remove the Senate's power to nominate and elect a prime minister, he said.

The fourth issue covers Section 256 which says a charter amendment requires the support of at least one-third of all 250 senators, or 84.

The fifth point seeks to enhance transparency in an investigation process against a member of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) who is accused of ethical misconduct.

The sixth issue deals with decentralising more power to local authorities, he said.

Mr Ramet said the party needs support from the coalition partners as the charter amendment motion requires the support of at least 100 MPs while the Democrat has only 51 votes.

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