MPs to call for advice on a better constitution

national September 11, 2012 00:00

By The Nation

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Partners in the governing Pheu Thai-led coalition failed to reach an agreement on charter amendment yesterday but will summon five leading academics to brief them on how the Constitution could be improved.

Representatives of the coalition on a special committee studied and discussed the charter amendments for more than an hour at the Chart Thai Pattana Party head office.

After the meeting, Bhokin Palakul, chairman of the committee, said the panel would invite five academics to offer their opinions.
For the meeting on September 17 at the Pheu Thai head office, Gothom Araya, the director of Mahidol University’s Centre for the Study and Development of Non-violence, and Wutthisarn Tanchai, deputy secretary-general of the King Prachadipok Institute, will be invited to air their views.
On September 24, when the panel holds another meeting at the Chart Thai Pattana head office, Nonthaburi Senator Direk Thuengfung and Somchai Preechasilpakul, a law lecturer of Chiang Mai University, will be invited to express their opinions.
Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, director of the National Institute of Development Administration, will be invited to talk to the panel during a meeting at the Pheu Thai head office on October 1, Bhokin said.
During discussion yesterday, representatives of the coalition partners agreed that the central and individual verdicts of Constitution Court judges did not make a public referendum compulsory, Bhokin said.
The panel agreed that the judges simply advised MPs and senators first to consult the public through a referendum before writing a new charter.
He said the panel considered the advice of the Constitution Court judges was important, so the panel must yet decide on what should be done to rewrite a new charter of the people.
Bhokin said the panel would also study which points in the 2007 Constitution were undemocratic and violated the rule of law.
He said his panel would study the charter amendments prudently and would not rush to conclude the study. It would try to finish its task in the current parliamentary session but this would depend on the information it has at hand.
Bhokin said Warathep Ratana-korn, a member of the panel, was drafting a statement for public-awareness campaigns on the need to amend the charter.
Before the Bhokin panel held the meeting, Banharn Silpa-archa, chief adviser to the Chart Thai Pattana leader, said the party would be ready to comply with any coalition decision on charter amendments.