Charter amendment won’t benefit ex-PM Thaksin: PM


BANGKOK, Feb 13 – Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Monday assured the public that the government’s move to amend the Constitution is not meant to benefit her brother, ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

The premier’s assurance came after she chaired a cabinet meeting which approved the government’s draft charter amendment to Article 291 to establish a 99-member Constitution Drafting Assembly (CDA).

Ms Yingluck said the government decided to propose the draft as it is one of the government’s urgent policies as delivered to parliament.

She said that the government’s top priorities were national

rehabilitation and the well-being of the people, but it reserved its right, however, to propose the draft for the House consideration as the civil sector and the lawmakers have already submitted their own drafts.

Regarding criticism that her brother, now living in exile abroad, might benefit from such a move, the prime minister reiterated that her government proposed to amend only Article 291 paving the way for the establishment of the CDA and details of the overall charter amendment are up to the consideration of the 99 elected and appointed CDA members.

Ms Yingluck asserted the charter amendment will not benefit fugitive ex-premier Thaksin as 77 CDA members will be elected from voters in each province, while the parliament will select another 22 experts.

At the end, the premier stated, there will be a public referendum and that the entire process will be conducted for the public interest.

Concerning the transparency of CDA member-selection process, Ms Yingluck said it depends on the parliamentarians themselves to decide on how to elect the charter-drafting assembly.