21 May 2024

A group of Democrat MPs has submitted a motion to the House of Representatives calling for the establishment of an extraordinary House committee to study problems with the 2017 Constitution and ways in which it could be amended to make the supreme law less rigid and open to further amendment.

Mr. Thepthai Senpong, an MP for Nakhon Si Thammarat who initiated the motion which was seconded by 24 other MPs, said that the initiative was in line with the government’s policy, as stated in parliament, that the charter has posed problems in practice and needs to be amended.

He went on to say that it is the policy of the Democrat party to make the Constitution open to amendment, adding that how the charter could be amended would depend on the extraordinary committee, which is yet to be set up.

Mr. Thepthai said he had no objection if the Democrats’ motion were to be combined with a similar motion from the seven-party opposition, so they can be considered at the same time.

The 2017 Constitution was framed by the Constitution Drafting Committee, led by Mr. Meechai Ruchupan, in a way that makes constitutional amendments almost impossible.

Meanwhile, Mr. Suthin Klangsaeng, the opposition’s chief whip, welcomed the Democrats’ initiative, suggesting, however, that the Democrats discuss with their coalition partners whether they agree with the idea of combining the two motions, so that the setting up of the House extraordinary committee can progress.

Parliament is due to go into recess on September 19th, so Mr. Suthin said he expected the constitutional amendments issue to be the first to be deliberated when parliament reopens.