Pheu Thai still undecided on way forward with charter rewrite

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BANGKOK, July 16 – The ruling Pheu Thai Party remains undecided on how to proceed with its Constitution amendment, while it awaits an official text of the Constitution Court’s ruling and the judges’ individual opinions.

The party met Monday on its charter amendment bill to amend Section 291 of the Constitution.

Last Friday, the eight-judge bench voted unanimously to reject a petition that alleged attempts to change Section 291 would overthrow Thailand’s constitutional monarchy.

At a news conference, party representatives Sec-Gen Jarupong Ruangsuwan and spokesperson Prompong Nopparit, among others, jointly announced that the party could not analyse or conclude the issue as long as the official statement of the Constitution Court’s ruling and judges’ individual opinions had not been released.

The party insists in its objection on the fact that the Court has neither the authority to accept a petition according to Section 68 nor to rule on the government’s attempt to amend the charter which belongs to the legislative power.

Lastly, the party viewed that the constitutional drafting process needs opinions from all stakeholders for further consideration on whether it should be done by a referendum or a third reading in parliament. Thus, a conclusion on this matter shall not yet be made.

However, Pheu Thai Party stands firm in its standpoint to amend the charter for greater democracy and to reduce political obstacles from the 2007 Constitution.

Meanwhile, Constitution Court spokesperson Somrit Chaiwong said it would take about 15 days before the court’s ruling and opinions of individual judges would be officially published.