Senators ask Chuan to seek Constitutional Court ruling on constitutionality of 3 draft charter amendments
A group of about 40 senators has asked Parliament President Chuan Leekpai to seek a ruling, from Thailand’s Constitutional Court, on the constitutionality of three of the seven draft constitutional amendments, including the draft from the iLaw NGO.
One of the senators, Mr. Kittisak Rattanavaraha, said today that the move is not an attempt to prolong the charter amendment process, but to make sure that all draft amendments are constitutional, so that there will not be any problem if they are ultimately approved by parliament.
Regarding iLaw’s draft, which was supported by more than 100,000 signatories, the senator said that there is a suspicion that some political parties, or wealthy entrepreneurs, might be pulling iLaw’s strings.
Meanwhile, Senator Kamnoon Sidhisamarn pointed out that iLaw’s draft constitutional amendment, which advocates the abrogation of seven organic laws regarding charter-mandated independent organizations, such as the National Anti-Corruption Commission, amounts to a whitewash of politicians convicted of or currently on trial for corruption.
He also expressed concern that, if the NACC is invalidated, Thailand will fall into a situation where there is no law regarding corruption for at least 5-6 months, or until there is a new charter.
iLaw, said Kamnoon, did not offer any explanation justifying its proposal to abrogate just seven, and not all ten organic laws, adding that he suspects that iLaw merely wants to get rid of the legacies of the junta, which toppled the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra six years ago, and does not take into consideration the “other side of the coin”, namely the cause of the putsch.
Senator Kamnoon said that, even though iLaw’s draft amendment also proposes amending Section 256 of the charter, to pave way for the formation of a Constitution Drafting Assembly, in line with the government’s two drafts, it is totally different from those of the government.
The iLaw draft does not prohibit amending Chapters 1 and 2 of the Constitution, to pave way for reform of the Monarchy.
Kamnoon said he agreed with amending the Constitution, but disagreed with issuing a law to whitewash corruption cases.