Constitutional change

22 12 2012

A Puea Thai Party committee chaired by Thaksin Shinawatra lawyer and former foreign minister Noppadon Pattama has reportedly “reached a clear position that it will proceed with a public referendum [on a charter rewrite] while the section-by-section charter amendment proposal will be shelved.”

The decision to proceed with rewriting the junta’s constitution is generally in line with promises made to voters during the last election campaign and in the lead-up to the election in 2007. Kowtowing to the royalist Constitutional Court on a referendum is unnecessarily supine in constitutional terms, but the idea of garnering voter support for  a rewrite is likely considered a necessary political device given that the opposition forces arranged in royalist alliance needs to be neutralized. That said, the royalist track record is only to accept popular votes when they win them, and PPT expects endless legal and constitutional challenges to every step taken by Puea Thai.

Article 309Noppadon’s claim that “the government’s campaign was not aimed at altering Section 309 of the 2007 charter, which legalised the actions of the military coup-makers who overthrew Thaksin in 2006” seems also unnecessarily coy. Whether Thaksin is a target of this section or not is hardly the point, for this section makes every action by a bunch of military thugs, throwing out the 1997 constitution, legal. This is an article that really does need to be scrapped if the military coup is ever going to be consigned to Thailand’s historical trashcan/dustbin.

Meanwhile, it is reported that a “large number of red-shirt activists began gathering on Saturday at the Bonanza resort near Khao Yai to voice their support for constitutional change.” This event kind of marks the beginning of referendum campaigning.

Speakers will include Thaksin phoning in and Korkaew Pikulthong, recently released from prison where he had been held as a political prisoner by royalists courts. His release was required as parliament returns and a sitting MP has immunity when parliament sits.


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22 12 2012
Abhisit whitewashes the military coup « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] if to confirm the point PPT made in an earlier post, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva is reported to have stated: “If Section 309 […]

22 12 2012
Abhisit whitewashes the military coup « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] if to confirm the point PPT made in an earlier post, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva is reported to have stated: “If Section 309 isn’t […]




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