11 July 2024

The opposition Pheu Thai Party has decided to propose four motions, seeking broader amendments of the Constitution, including Section 272, to exclude senators from process of electing the Prime Minister, and Section 270, to revoke the powers of the Senate regarding national reforms.

The party also appealed for cross party support, as well as from senators, for its four motions, which also include the amendment of Section 256, for the creation of the Constitution Drafting Assembly to write a new charter, and revocation of Section 279, which legitimizes all the orders issued and actions taken by the military junta, which toppled the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra about six years ago in a military coup, otherwise known as the National Council for Peace and Order.

Besides the motion to limit the powers of senators, Pheu Thai leader Sompong Amornvivat told a press conference today that the party also proposes to amend Section 159 of the Constitution, to enable MPs to elect the Prime Minister from the list of nominees proposed by parties and from among MPs.
He added that the party will also seek to do away with the current election system, stipulated in Sections 88, 83, 90, 91 and 94 of the Constitution, and adopt the election system contained in the 1997 Constitution, which advocates two ballots, one for the election of candidates and the other for parties.

Mr. Pokin Polakul, a member of the party’s strategic committee, explained that, about two weeks ago, the Pheu Thai Party only proposed amendment of Section 256, for the creation of the Constitution Drafting Assembly, before the availability of a report by the committee considering charter amendments.

In the report, the committee left the chapters about Thai sovereignty and the Monarchy intact, but proposed broader amendments, including senators’ powers, the election system and national strategy, said Mr. Pokin.

The report has prompted Pheu Thai to propose additional amendments, said Mr. Pokin, as he urged fellow MPs and senators to support the party’s initiative “so the country can move forward in peace and for the protection of democracy with the King as head of state.”