11 July 2024

Core members of the Palang Pracharat party have nominated Mr. Suchart Tancharoen, deputy House speaker and party member, to compete against former Democrat party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva for the chair of the House ad hoc committee charged with studying constitutional amendments.

An informed PPRP source said that the party’s core members favour a party MP as head of the House panel. Mr. Suchart is yet to respond to their proposal.

Abhisit was nominated by the Democrat party and he has the backing of opposition representatives on the House panel.  He resigned as an MP to accept responsibility after the party suffered a humiliating loss in the March 24th general election.

Abhisit reportedly said earlier that he had not yet decided to join the committee, adding that, if the PPRP, the main party in the coalition government, is opposed to charter changes, there is no point in him sitting on the committee.

The Democrat party had made constitutional amendments a pre-condition for joining the PPRP-led coalition government, whereas the PPRP remains uncommitted, with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha remaining aloof of the issue, noting that it is an affair for the legislature.

House Speaker Chuan Leekpai said today (Thursday) that members of the House panel should choose the committee chairman, not all House MPs, as has been traditionally practised.

Amending the Constitution is easier said than done because it needs the endorsement of the Senate and, so far, the Senate has been silent about the matter.

Mr Chuan has reportedly said recently that he has not recognized the charter from the very beginning.