Public referendum only possible via constitutional amendment, not Section 44

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BANGKOK, 4 April 2015 – The Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has revealed that in order for a public referendum to be held in relation to the new constitution, an amendment must be made to the current interim constitution.

According to one of the CDC members, Pakorn Preeyakorn, if all reform bodies agree to a referendum, the cabinet and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) must submit an amendment proposal to the National Legislative Assembly, which must be vetted and voted on like any other constitution amendment.

He also noted that Section 44 of the interim constitution, which grants the head of the NCPO overriding power over national security issues, cannot be used to initiate a public referendum. The interim constitution does not give the government and the NCPO the authority to make changes to the charter; therefore, a referendum cannot be initiated solely by the Prime Minister.