Cabinet-NCPO meeting approves amendment of interim constitution

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BANGKOK, 9 June 2015 – Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-Ngam revealed in a press briefing today that the joint meeting between the cabinet and the NCPO approved the amendment of the interim constitution and will submit the revised charter to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) for approval within 15 days.

He said the NLA could only accept or deny the charter, by giving supporting votes amounting to half of the quorum or at least 111 voices. Once approved, the constitution will be submitted to His Majesty within 15 days for royal endorsement. The NLA has no power to change the draft by itself, except only the Cabinet or the NCPO permits NLA to do so.

There are seven points in the draft constitution which the joint meeting agreed to change such as qualifications and prohibited characteristics of NLA members, and extension of working period of Parliament commission from 60 days to 90 days to give longer time for suggestions and explanation. Regarding the referendum of the Charter draft, the NLA entrusted the Election Commission to hold it in mid-Sep.

Wissanu said that copies of the draft will be sent to at least 19 million households or 80 per cent of the total number of 23-24 million households nationwide. The referendum is expected to take place 30-45 days after the distribution, which possibly fall in late Jan to Feb 2016.

Asked whether or not additional questions would be put in the referendum, Wissanu explained that any additional query must be proposed to the cabinet by the NRC and the NLA. If the question is approved, the cabinet will forward it to Election Commission which will arrange for its inclusion in the referendum.