Thailand’s coalition parties back referendum ahead of charter change


BANGKOK, Dec 14 – Thailand’s government coalition bloc today advocated a referendum to decide whether the constitution amendment should go ahead on the parliamentary third reading.

Jarupong Ruangsuwan, Interior Minister and leader of the ruling Pheu Thai Party, said all political parties in the coalition deem that the referendum is necessary to avoid conflicts among different quarters in the country.

“The government should sound out Thai people’s opinions on whether the 2009 constitution needs changes for more legitimacy and democratic equality,”  he said. “There should be an election of members of the constitution drafting assembly to write a new charter in which the sections on the constitutional monarchy and the royal institution will be untouched.”

Mr Jarupong said the government should support and cooperate with all political parties, academic institutions, democratic organisations and the people in creating understanding on the reasons behind the referendum.

Once the result is announced, everyone should respect the result, he said

Justice Minister Pracha Promnok said he will submit the multi-party resolution on referendum to the cabinet next Tuesday for consideration.

The resolution was reached today in a meeting of political parties in the government bloc including the Pheu Thai, Chat Thai Pattana, Chat Pattana and Palang Chon parties.