National Reform Council meeting debates new political structure

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BANGKOK, 15 May 2015 – The National Reform Council (NRC) has affirmed that today’s meeting between political parties and civic groups is to obtain input from all sides in the charter drafting process. The Pheu Thai Party has suggested that the country revert to the 1997 constitution, should the draft constitution be rejected.

NRC member Niran Pantharakit revealed that the seminar will cover eight main topics, including the debate over political groups, the electoral process for senators and the prime minister, political checks and balances, and the public referendum on the new constitution.

Former MP Samart Kaewmeechai of the Pheu Thai Party has expressed the party’s support for a public referendum on the new constitution, saying it will encourage public participation in the current reform process.

However, the party has suggested that a contingency plan be established if the new charter is rejected. In the event that the new constitution is struck down, the Pheu Thai Party suggested the country revert back to the 1997 constitution.

Mr Samart urged charter drafters to increase citizen participation in the new charter. He said the decrease in constituent MPs and the stipulation allowing for an unelected official to assume the premiership are provisions that reduce the constitution’s connection to the people.