Academics: no consensus
Academics yesterday voiced differing opinions over the interim Constitution and the National Legislative Assembly. Somkhid Lertphaithoon, a deputy Thammasat University rector, regarded the interim charter the best ever.
But, he questioned how a total of 2,000 people to be chosen as a "People's Assembly" could represent all Thai people.
He said those 2,000 would have only seven days to select an initial 200, then that 200 would have another few days to select 100 among them as assembly members.
Somkhid suggested the Council of National Security (CNS) appoint 100 members itself by recruiting from people in all 76 provinces and selecting experts known for their integrity.
The lecturer said he regarded the interim constitution the best of its kind although he was disappointed a mission statement was not included - or even mentioned.
The new charter should be based on the now-abolished 1997 charter, he advised.
Suriyasai Katasila, a key member of the People's Alliance for Democracy, said the interim charter lacked detail on three key issues - a system of checks and balances for the interim government, guarantees of civil liberties and the formula of the National Legislative Assembly. The last was open to Thaksin Shinawatra cronies.
Khomsan Phokhong, a law lecturer at Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, said the proportion of public participation should be greater during the charter-drafting process. He said there was no guarantee Thaksin allies would be limited in their participation.