Is the military dictatorship serious about its second draft charter or is it all an elaborate and expensive ruse to convince average people that a return to an elected government is possible?
A report at the Bangkok Post suggests the latter.
It says there is a “fresh proposal for an appointed Senate…”. It can hardly be “new” because this proposal has been around since the 2006 coup. Since the 2014 coup it has been suggested and considered several times.
But that is beside the real point. The report states that the National Legislative Assembly has been highly critical of the Constitution Drafting Committee’s “proposal for the indirect election of the Senate…”.
That the draft charter was dead on arrival means that the NLA is now dismembering it, making it even more grotesque.
Several NLA members “spoke out against the proposal which calls for the indirect election of 200 senators elected from 20 professional groups, 10 from each group.” We agree that this kind of “functional constituency” is fundamentally flawed and unrepresentative.
Remarkably – well, perhaps not, as the NLA is populated by fascists and other anti-democrats – the members responded by suggesting an even less representative alternative: a fully appointed Senate.
The claim is that “appointed senators performed well in the past and they acted as a counterbalance to elected MPs.” They mean that unelected senators were warriors for anti-democrats.
The report then turns to what it says is a “hidden agenda” in this proposal. “A source” states that this proposal “would likely lead the public to vote down the draft charter in the referendum, which in turn would help the military government stay in power longer…”.
“The source” said the “strange move” is a “reminder of what happened before the now-defunct draft charter by the previous CDC led by Borwornsak Uwanno was rejected by the National Reform Council (NRC).”
The “plan” has seen accusations that this is to “prolong the military regime’s power…”. They seem reasonable accusations. If this is the junta’s plan, then it is one expensive ruse.