Special panel planned to change charter

national January 17, 2017 01:00


CHANGES to the 2014 interim charter to allow the King discretion on the designation of a regent and to permit the prime minister to reacquire the draft constitution from the King so it can be adjusted was endorsed and promulgated on Sunday, as announced in the Royal Gazette website.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday that the next step would be the amendment of the constitution draft by a special panel. 

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam added later in the day that the PM was expected to ask for the reacquirement of the draft today, and the panel would meet to start the process.

The special panel, comprising members of the Council of State, would be appointed officially by the prime minister to amend the draft constitution, which passed a national referendum last August.

The panel includes legal experts such as chairmen of the previous Constitution Drafting Committee and the current Constitution Drafting Commission, Borwornsak Uwanno and Meechai Ruchupan, as well as the president of the National Legislative Assembly, Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, and Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam.

Meechai said yesterday the appointment of the panel was under the authority of the prime minister, apparently implying he was not certain why he had been appointed. He said he believed it would not take long to amend the draft charter.

Authorities have reaffirmed that the rights and freedoms as well as other political matters in the referendum-passed constitution will not be touched. The amendment would only involve the royal prerogative concerning designation of a regent and other related clauses. 

The Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary had said the draft charter needed amendmen specifying that it did not necessarily require designation of a regent when the King was outside the Kingdom or unable to perform his royal duties for any reason.


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