A senior member of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) is proposing to take a new measure that could drag on the process of charter amendment for much longer. Citing a precedent set by the ruling of the Constitutional Court in a similar case, the deputy leader of the PPRP, Paiboon Nititawan, said that if there was a proposal to change the whole constitution, a referendum would be required. If so, a study on whether to stage the referendum should first be held.
His comment, however, sparked fear that it will be a drawn-out affair for the amendment process, which has not yet begun. MPs were just about to vote last week on whether to initiate work on the proposal, but instead decided to select a House committee to research the specifics of the proposed changes. Before the legislative discussion returns, the committee will spend one month doing its work.
The decision to appoint a committee sparked an uproar among opposition MPs and critics who blasted the government, accusing it of using the committee as a delaying tactic, for overwhelmingly endorsing it. Mr Paiboon insisted that it was also important to consider the possibility of a referendum.
If the amendment affects the charter as a whole, a referendum must be held and there also needs to be a study on that issue. His suggestion of yet another study seems likely to raise the pressure on the government, which is already being shot by demonstrators demanding a rapid rewrite of the charter and dissolution of the House.
His suggestion of yet another study seems likely to raise the pressure on the government, which is already being shot by demonstrators demanding a rapid rewrite of the charter and dissolution of the House. The ’30-day committee’ will invite supporters of the six motions sent to parliament to begin the process of charter amendment.