BANGKOK, 19 May 2015 – The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has expressed its readiness to consider a constitutional amendment to stipulate a public referendum on the new constitution, if proposed by the current administration.
NLA First Vice President Surachai Liengboonlertchai said that if the Cabinet and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) agree that the country should hold a referendum, it must submit an amendment proposal to the NLA in accordance with Section 46 of the 2014 interim constitution.
The NLA must vote on the proposal within 15 days of receiving it, and cannot make revisions to the amendment without the government and the NCPO’s approval.
Mr Surachai revealed that the 15-day timeframe would require a streamlined process involving the establishment of a committee to review all three phases of deliberation along with full attendance from the assembly. NLA members must be given ample time to thoroughly study the amendment.
Mr Surachai also revealed that a public referendum would require various public forums to hear public opinion and inform people of the new constitution. These hearings may require the NCPO to consider relaxing its restrictions on political gatherings.