House backs referendum reform bills with 450 votes

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The proposed changes, which received overwhelming support with 450 votes in favor and one abstention, seek to facilitate constitutional amendments by simplifying the voting requirements.

The House of Representatives has initiated steps to reform the nation’s referendum process by accepting four bills to amend the Referendum Act. The proposed changes, which received overwhelming support with 450 votes in favor and one abstention, seek to facilitate constitutional amendments by simplifying the voting requirements.

The existing legislation mandates a “double majority” for a referendum to be valid, requiring over 50% of eligible voters to participate, with most of those voting in favor. Critics argue this stipulation poses major obstacles to passing crucial legislative reforms, especially constitutional amendments.



Introduced by the cabinet, the ruling Pheu Thai Party, the Move Forward Party (MFP), and the Bhumjaithai Party, the bills propose replacing the double majority requirement with a simpler majority vote. This adjustment eliminates the participation threshold that often leads to invalidating referendums due to low turnout.




The amendments also encourage more active campaigning around referendum topics, allowing both proponents and opponents to freely express their views. The initiative, championed by the ruling party, is intended to allow informed decision-making among voters.

A 31-member panel has been appointed to review the proposed changes. According to representatives from both Pheu Thai and MFP, these bills are crucial for creating a more adaptable and democratic process for amending the constitution, better reflecting public opinion without the current legal constraints. (NNT)