23 May 2024

The cabinet approved an ad hoc committee proposal today that three referenda will be held to approve a new Constitution, which is yet to be drafted, with the first set to be held between July 21 and August 21.

Government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said that, in the first referendum, the electorate will be asked “Do you agree with the drafting of a new Constitution that will leave Chapter 1 and 2 of the current charter, concerning general provisions and the monarchy respectively, intact?”

The first plebiscite is expected to cost about 3.2 billion baht, said Chai, adding that the electorate will not be asked whether or not a drafting assembly should be set up to write a new charter.

As for the content of the new charter, he said that details will be prepared by the parties concerned and will be reported to the cabinet later on.

In January, about 122 Pheu Thai MPs submitted a motion to House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha seeking amendment of Section 256 of the Constitution, regarding the holding of referenda and the drafting of a new charter.

The MPs are in favour of just two referenda, to save taxpayers’ money.

The opposition Move Forward party, meanwhile, wants a new charter to be drafted without the exception that certain provisions or chapters of the current charter must be left intact.