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Thanathorn calls on Thais to demand Constitutional amendment

Jack Burton

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Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit is calling a Constitutional amendment “necessary,” and encourages supporters to “take a strong stance against dictatorship.”

The former MP also says it’s time for people to take a clear stance on the issue.

“The country is at a crossroads and it must decide whether to rewrite the current Constitution in blood, or if it should be amended with everybody’s consent, Thanathorn told a forum at Thammasat University on Saturday.

At the forum, the FFP allied with six other opposition parties to push for an amendment to the current Constitution, which they call authoritarian and “a product of dictatorship.”

Thanathorn says the amendment is “not an exception but the rule. It is the only way society can survive,” according to the Bangkok Post.

“This is not the time to be shy or coy about it.”

In the past, several parties have nominated MPs to sit on the House of Representatives’ special committee to study a charter amendment. But Thanathorn says an amendment is urgently needed to resolve social and political conflicts and bring a fair distribution of power.

“The leaders of the 2014 coup that unseated elected prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra have kept the power to themselves… which has set the country back by decades. He insists the fight will not end until democracy is fully restored.”

Thanathorn believes the relative calm in the country since the coup is an illusion. The reality, he says, is that the people are being oppressed by the old guard. He has said changing the constitution is not the only goal, and that the battle is against an administration that is dividing and exploiting the people.

Even the leader of the establishment Pheu Thai Party says all sectors of society must understand the need to rectify the charter. He calls on the government to fund a referendum, saying people should show their discontent by voting overwhelmingly for the amendment.

Seri Ruam Thai Party leader Sereepisuth Temeeyaves, on the other hand, believes the current Constitution should be completely abandoned and a previous charter, whichever is most acceptable to the people, should be reinstated, along with a new premier.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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