Pheu Thai to discuss referendum plan
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Pheu Thai to discuss referendum plan

The Pheu Thai Party is scheduled to meet next week to discuss the charter referendum with views still divided on how many rounds may be required, according to party veteran Phumtham Wechayachai.

Mr Phumtham, who chairs the charter referendum committee, said the panel is considering asking parties to submit the matter to the Constitutional Court for a ruling through their MPs.

He said the ruling party will debate the issues surrounding the referendum, including the number of rounds will be required when it meets on Dec 12.

The referendum must also be conducted in compliance with the Constitutional Court ruling in 2021 stating that the public must approve any move to amend the entire charter, and if a rewrite is approved, another referendum must be held to approve the content. Based on the ruling, at least two rounds are required, but some argue a third may be needed.

Mr Phumtham said the referendum study is expected to be concluded and submitted to the cabinet for consideration early next year. However, he said he could not confirm if the referendum process could be initiated in the first quarter of next year.

Meanwhile, public opinion on the charter rewrite gathered during a public hearing in Songkhla this week was mixed.

Jessada Thongkhao, a law lecturer from Thaksin University in Songkhla province, said he agreed with the charter referendum because certain issues specified in the charter such as the national strategic plan are controversial.

Surachate Bilson, a lawyers' representative, said that the intent of the current charter should be upheld especially because it was designed to suppress and prevent corruption.

Malee Cheetong, a community volunteer, said she was opposed to any charter changes because it was a waste of money and did not benefit the people.

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