Meechai's charter meant to be killed: Pheu Thai

Meechai's charter meant to be killed: Pheu Thai

Leading Pheu Thai Party member Surapong Tovichakchaikul believes the draft constitution prepared by the Meechai Ruchupan panel may have been written in such a way that it would be rejected in the referendum.

Mr Surapong, a former deputy prime minister and foreign minister, said Thais and the world were suspicious that the latest draft charter, revealed on Friday, might have been designed to be killed to allow for the National Council for Peace and Order to stay longer in power.

Throughout the drafting process, the Constitution Drafting Committee did not listen to opposition or took under consideration any suggestions. The CDC's intention was for the draft to be rejected and this would then be used as an excuse for the NCPO to say the country's reforms and reconciliation had not been achieved.

He said it was likely for the lead-up to the election to be extended from the 6-4-6-4 months period to a 6-4-8-5 months timeframe, and that the draft charter would be eventually voted down.

The former foreign minister said he believed other countries and the United Nations would be stunned by the NCPO's tricks to perpetuate its grip on power and take control of the administration of the next government via independent agencies.

The NCPO should be aware that for nearly two years of it being in power the country's economy had not improved, corruption still existed and the people's income was at a standstill.

The longer the NCPO stayed in power, the more damage would be done to the country, Mr Surapong said.

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