Thai Deputy PM Wissanu says amending charter can be done within two months
Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngarm told Parliament today that amending the Constitution could be completed in just two months, via a fast-track approach based on the two constitutional drafts from the Government coalition parties and four from the Opposition.
He said that the writing of a new charter, by a Constitution Drafting Assembly (CDA), as advocated by several sectors of society, would take time because the CDA does not yet exist.’
Deliberation of the six constitutional draft amendments could commence in November, when Parliament resumes its ordinary session and, by December, an amended draft could pass second and final readings in Parliament, but promulgation of the draft will have to await a referendum, as required by law.
He assured that the referendum bill could be submitted to Parliament by the Government next week for deliberation, which could be fast-tracked because it concerns reform.
As for the draft constitution, to be proposed by the iLaw non-governmental organization, Dr. Wissanu said that it has already been received by Parliament and it can also be raised for discussion in November.
Defending the Government’s three motions, the Deputy Prime Minister explained that the Government has found it necessary to explain the origin of the current political conflict, relating to the incident involving the Royal motorcade on October 14th, the COVID-19 pandemic and flood related problems.
Regarding the demands of the protesting students, he said that the Government has already responded to most of the demands, such as the lifting of the severe state of emergency and constitutional amendments.
Regarding the demand for the Prime Minister to step down, Dr. Wissanu said, in such a case, Parliament will elect the new Prime Minister from qualified candidates, minus the current Prime Minister and Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, former leader of the now defunct Future Forward Party.
The successful candidate, he said, must receive at least 366 votes, out of a total of 732, of the House and the Senate. Even if senators abstain from voting, the winning candidate would still need at least 366 votes from the MPs, he added.