11 July 2024

Democrat party leader Jurin Laksanavisit has proposed that the chief whips of all parties and the Senate meet to discuss constitutional amendments, to prepare the way for a smoothrewrite of Thailand’s supreme law.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister said today (Saturday) that there is broad agreement that the charter needs to be amended, but differences remain over which sections.

Amendments to the Constitution must be supported by at least 20% of MPs and at least a third of the Senator before there can be a national referendum for the Thai people to decide whether they agree with the changes.

Without the consent of MPs, the Senate and the people, Mr.Jurin said that the attempt to amend or re-write the charter will fail.

He maintained that the Democrat party’s stance on constitutional amendments has been clear from the start, namely that there must be a Constitution Drafting Assembly formed to write a new charter, without touching Chapters 1 and 2 about Thai sovereignty and the Monarchy.

Senator Wanchai Sornsiri said in his Facebook post today that,although there is cross party agreement on the need to amend the Constitution, they differ on several issues, such as whether there should be just one or two ballots, one for the election of MPs and the other for political parties.

He admitted that he has no problem with the proposed amendment to Section 272, to reduce the role of the Senate in voting for the Prime Minister in Parliament, but he says he is suspicious of the Opposition’s reasons for proposing separate motions for each proposed amendment, instead of a singlemotion encompassing all amendments.

He said that amending about the role of the Senate would resolve most of the conflicts between the MPs and the senators, adding that he found some other proposed amendments unnecessary.

Responding to Mr. Wanchai’s comments, Mr. Wirote Lakkhanadisorn, spokesman for the opposition Kao Klai party, defended the submission of separate motions, to avoid any trickery by the Senate, adding that the approach is meant to ensure that the Opposition’s proposed charter amendments will not fail entirely if some motions are voted down.

He added that the senators could object to all the motions.