Former Thai PM Abhisit Vejjajiva (2008 to 2011) says if Parliament votes against the proposed re-write of the constitution during its 2 day session next week, it will only serve to worsen the ongoing political crisis. He says the resignation of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and a dissolution of Parliament won’t be enough to solve the problem, without a re-write of the constitution.
“Resignation and dissolution without changing the rules will bring back the same problems.”
He adds that the 2017 junta-authored constitution suppresses democracy and amending it would show that the government is listening to the people.
“Acceptance of the charter re-write will show that people in power are listening to demands and truly want to open avenues for discussion that will lead to changes in Parliament.”
He was speaking at a seminar on the constitution and Thailand’s future, as ongoing anti-government protests call for the PM’s resignation, the dissolution of Parliament, and a charter re-write. The seminar was organised by various civil society groups, including the Thai Journalists Association, Committee of Relatives of the Black May 1992 Heroes, and the Campaign for Popular Democracy.
Representatives of the groups present have criticised the PM and his administration, with Adul Khiewboriboon from the Black May relatives committee calling for his resignation. He says he initially trusted him to solve the political impasse, but now sees him as an obstacle to resolution.
Meanwhile, the chairwoman of the Institute for Thailand Transformation, Sudarat Keyuraphan, says the country is on a cliff edge. She says the PM cannot claim he’s done no wrong, after seizing power as part of an organisation that is not subject to scrutiny.
“The current Constitution deprives people of rights and concentrates power in one spot, stopping the country from thriving. The solution is for the premier to listen and solve the problems in good faith, not just focus on clinging on to power.”
She accuses the government of having no interest in a charter re-write, saying it prefers to use the Constitutional Court to its own advantage. She is calling on officials to set a December deadline for the consideration of drafts and to then announce a referendum on a new constitution.
SOURCE: Nation Thailand