DRG proposes charter change to end NCPO hold on power in election run-up

politics March 13, 2018 19:24

By Wasamon Audjarint
The Nation

The activist Democracy Restoration Group (DRG) on Tuesday suggested changes to the 2017 Constitution in order to end the ruling legitimacy of the military-led government during the pre-election period.



The DRG is campaigning for an end to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and the turning of the junta government into an acting administration in the run-up to the general election.

These changes, the group argues, should ensure that the election is not delayed further and that the NCPO will not be able to prolong its hold on power.

In 2016, the government organised a nationwide referendum on a junta-written charter draft and imposed strict rules during the campaign period ahead of the national vote, disabling different opinions from speaking up against the draft.

Some of the activists who now form the DRG were arrested at that time for allegedly breaking the referendum law.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday brushed aside such a call from the DRG, reasoning that the Constitution’s Article 265 stipulates that the NCPO stay in power until the new government after the next election is in place.

The DRG has proposed that a possible solution is to amend Article 265.

“The NCPO often cites laws in ways advantaging themselves, saying that those laws have to be strictly followed,” the group said in a Facebook post.

“In fact, the 2017 charter was wholly written by the NCPO. It was amended even after approval in the referendum,” the DRG continued. “So, why can’t the charter be amended to pave the way for faster dissolution of the NCPO?”