PM insists on constitutionality of key bills as extensive public hearings held on them

politics June 28, 2017 15:56

By The Nation

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Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday insisted that the two crucial draft bills on national strategy and national reforms were constitutional, as public hearings required under the new charter had been extensively held by concerned agencies.

The PM said he had consulted with the government’s legal arm over proceeding with the bills, while agencies including the National Reform Steering Assembly had extensively conducted public hearings before the bills were submitted to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) for deliberation and endorsement.

The bills were passed by the NLA last week, paving the way for long-term national development and strategy. 

Some political observers have criticised the bills as tying the hands of future governments, with little flexibility provided. 

The Democrat Party, and some figures from Pheu Thai, have said they plan to file complaints against the bills’ constitutionality.

Prayut urged people not to politicise the issue, saying his government was more open to hearings than was the case with previous administrations. 

He said was not bothered by people filing complaints against the bills, but urged them to let the concerned parties get on with their important work. 

The issues of ongoing legal enactment, he said, were sometimes too politicised despite the fact that the concerned parties were not in conflict and political, as was viewed by many as being the case. 

This included the emerging opposing views on the question of primary voting, as stipulated in the recently passed organic law on political parties, the premier said, insisting that the bodies working on the political party bill were not in conflict.

The PM said the government was sticking to its roadmap and that concerned parties should also follow and try every means in their own work to get the roadmap on track.

It was not any of his business if they were unable to find common ground to end their differences, but he was not giving them a signal to drag out the issue, he said, alluding to the ongoing opposing views on the issue of primary voting.

The Council of State on Tuesday insisted that the two bills on national strategy and national reforms that would pave the way for long-term development had been subject to sufficient public hearings in line with what was required by the new charter.