Two options emerge if draft is rejected

Published February 6, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Govt could amend interim charter or attempt a third draft, if necessary.

PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-cha appears to be keeping his cards close to his chest on what he plans to do should the draft charter be rejected in the public referendum. He obviously has a back-up plan, but he certainly is not revealing it to anybody right now.

“If the draft fails to make it through the referendum, then it will be my business. I tied the knot, now I must learn to untie it. I will ensure a general election is held,” the premier said.

Prayut has been insisting publicly that he will not stay in power even if the draft is rejected. In fact, he keeps reiterating that his government will stick with its earlier timeframe to hold an election by next year.

Separately, Constitution Drafting Commission chairman Meechai Ruchupan landed in hot water when he bluntly stated that the interim charter would be adopted permanently should the draft written by his team not be accepted by the public. He later claimed that he actually meant the interim charter would only be used until a new charter is adopted.

CDC spokesman Amorn Wanitwiwat, however, has his own theory. He says if this draft charter is rejected, Thailand will end up with a constitution fashioned by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). He probably means that if this draft charter is rejected, then the NCPO will have to find the reasons why this happened, before amending the interim charter accordingly and then promulgating it permanently.

Prayut‘s remark that he has a plan at hand to ensure a general election is held if this draft is rejected could mean that he has another charter draft ready. However, it could also mean that the interim charter would be amended to pave the way for this draft to be adopted.

There is also another possible alternative; the interim charter will be amended to pave the way for a general election before the Meechai draft is brushed up and promulgated as an official constitution.

Under these two scenarios, there should be no need for a referendum.

The interim charter stipulates that the draft charter must get votes from more than half of the eligible voters.

Prayut said he has instructed the legal department to see if the government should amend the interim charter so it stipulates the draft must get more than half of the votes actually cast. If this point is amended, the constitution will have a better chance of being accepted, as fewer votes would be required for it to be passed.

Besides, it is not yet necessary for Prayut and the NCPO to reveal their plans should the draft be rejected, because the referendum is scheduled for the end of July. In fact, political observers say revealing their plans now would put the NCPO and Prayut‘s government at a political disadvantage.

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