Thai lawmakers debate controversial constitution amendments today

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BANGKOK, April 1 – A joint parliamentary session is scheduled for today to deliberate three bills seeking to amend the current Constitution, which has been in use since 2007.

The three pieces of legislation, proposed by MPs of the ruling Pheu Thai party, pinpoint specific sections of the Constitution to be revised.

Debates by members of the Lower and Upper Houses are expected to take three days.

Jurin Laksanawisit, chief whip of the opposition bloc, said over 30 Democrat party MPs intend to take the floor against the bills.

Clear explanations will be made to the Thai public on the Democrats’ stance against the constitutional amendments, he said.

Deputy Commerce Minister Nattawut Saikua described as normal the opposition’s disagreement with the bills but he believed the three bills will pass without serious difficulty in the first reading.

Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said he doesn’t believe the constitutional amendments will increase the country’s political temperature since they are beneficial to people and the kingdom.

An allocation of 11 hours for the opposition to debate the bills is sufficient compared to its number of MPs, he said. (MCOT online news)