11 July 2024

Senate Speaker Pornpetch Vichitcholachai is confident that senators will not vote against all six constitutional amendments proposed by Government and Opposition parties.

He said today (Monday) that he believes all the senators are mature, independent and have their own ability to form a judgement, adding that they will listen to a briefing, from a panel tasked with studying the amendments, before voting on them.

He said that the panel’s study will not provide guidance on how the senators should vote, just clarifications on legal issues.

The Opposition parties boycotted the joint sitting of the Senate and House of Representatives last month, which voted for the establishment of an ad hoc panel to study proposed amendments before voting on them.

They also refused to be represented on the panel, headed by Mr. Wirat Rattanaseth, the Government Chief Whip.

Mr. Pornpetch said that he had sampled the opinions of several senators and found that they have not already decided to reject all the proposed amendments, as speculated.

The panel will take about a month to complete its work, before delivering their report to Parliament ahead of the voting.

The Opposition has accused the Government of resorting to delaying tactics, by setting up the panel to study the proposed amendments.

He noted that all parties, as well as the Prime Minister, agree with the proposal to amend Section 256 of the Constitution and to set up a Constitution Drafting Assembly to rewrite the charter.