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Referendum up to NRC and CDC, says Prayut

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– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Referendum up to NRC and CDC: PM
The Nation / Phuket Gazette


PHUKET: The decision on whether to hold a referendum on the new draft constitution lies with the National Reform Council (NRC) and the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday.

“The roadmap is in accordance with the interim constitution. If there is no amendment to the interim constitution, then things will proceed accordingly,” said the premier, who is also head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

Contrary to popular belief, it is not up to him to decide on the matter, but up to the NRC and the CDC, he said.

As for CDC chairman Borwornsak Uwanno’s suggestion to use the constitution for five years first before amending it, PM Prayut replied: “This constitution can be called a constitution for reform, if we see it that way. The reform could take five, 10 or 20 years. If [future elected politicians] want to amend it, they can do so as they are elected.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan yesterday asked the public not to criticize the draft charter so that it does not get stuck in an impasse. He added that there was still sufficient time to adjust the draft.

Mr Prawit also met Mr Borwornsak to discuss the draft charter yesterday.

“The charter’s draft has to be accepted first. Then, we can proceed according to the process laid down in the roadmap. It is up to the NRC and the CDC to figure out how they would amend [the draft charter] before submitting it to the NCPO and the cabinet. ”

He went on to say: “We do not even know whether the NRC would approve the draft charter. This is a matter for the future. However, I have not seen the suggestion regarding Articles 181 and 182, which provide the premier with power to implement laws and grant pardons to those who exhibit remorse and those who give useful testimony to a case. I do not know things in detail. I will have to study the draft charter first. As for the issue on whether to amend it or not, that is another issue.”

When asked whether the NCPO would like to prolong its time in power by delaying the deadline for the implementation of the new constitution, PM Prawit replied that the NCPO had no intention of staying longer in power.

Asked if the new CDC and NRC would still be set up if the current draft fails to get NRC approval, PM Prawit said the provisional constitution already provided the outline on what to do in those circumstances. Nevertheless, PM Prawit added that we should not think too much about this at the moment, as it is a matter for the future.

“The premier and head of the NCPO, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, has always insisted that he would always stick to the roadmap,” said Mr Prawit.

Talking on the same topic, former prime minister Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh suggested that the charter drafters prepare two constitutions for people to choose. As for Borwornsak’s proposal to accept the charter and use it for five years before changing it, Gen Chavalit said it was not enough.

“It’s better to have an alternative for the people.”

In a related development, former prime minister Chuan Leekpai said the new draft charter has been written in such a way that if he were to run for a seat in the House for the first time, it would be difficult or almost impossible for him to win.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Thailand News Today | Week In Review | February 26

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Thailand News Today | Week In Review | February 26 | The Thaiger

Thailand News Today usually covers five days of the news week. This week only four days as today (Friday) is a public holiday. Now we have a weekend edition which goes over the biggest, or best stories, from the past week. Out every Saturday afternoon, catch up with Jett and Tim’s major Thai news stories. Welcome to the Thailand News Today Week in Review. Tim and Jett give you a quick recap of the main news stories.

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Thailand

45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update

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45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update | The Thaiger

Thailand reports 45 new cases of Covid-19cases today, with 37 infections being locally-transmitted. 8 of those infections were imported, raising the total amount of infections since the pandemic began to 25,809.

The Department of Disease Control reports that 32 cases were confirmed at hospitals with 5 confirmed through active case finding in communities.

Samut Sakhon province, the 2nd wave epicentre, reported over half of the new cases at 19. 14 of those cases were confirmed at hospitals and 5 were detected in Myanmar communities. Bangkok has reported 3 new cases, Nakhon Nayok reported 5, Chai Nat 3, Nakhon Pathom 3, Saraburi 2, Prachuap Khiri Khan 1, and Samut Prakan 1.

45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update | News by The Thaiger

The 8 imported cases were those under quarantine arriving from Pakistan, Bangladesh, the UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, and Kuwait. The case from the UK was that of a 6 year old Thai schoolgirl.

Globally, Covid-19 cases rose by 444,466 over the past day to 113.54 million. The worldwide death toll increased by 10,552 to 2.52 million. The United States still has the most cases at 29.5 million, with the most deaths at 520,785.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tourism

Surveys show Thailand still one of the top holiday choices post-pandemic

Maya Taylor

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Surveys show Thailand still one of the top holiday choices post-pandemic | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jakob Owens on Unsplash

The Stockholm office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand has conducted a survey in which 62% of respondents say they want to spend winter in Thailand provided restrictions are lifted. The top destinations are Phuket, Krabi and Khao Lak, followed by Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan, Koh Tao, Bangkok, and Hua Hin.

68% say they would cancel bookings if the 14-day quarantine remains in place. 26% say they would still go ahead, and 13% said they’d be in favour of quarantine being cut to 10 days. 99% of participants say they would be worried about testing positive for Covid-19 after travel plans have been made.

Meanwhile, the TAT’s London office has also been busy, carrying out a survey in conjunction with market research firm, YouGov. The idea behind the survey was to get an idea of the future of tourism once the pandemic is over.

4,127 people took part, with 75% of them saying they’re prepared to be vaccinated if it’s required for travel. 41% are against mandatory quarantine, although 52% would accept a 5-day quarantine. 62% of those planning holidays are over the age of 50 and interested in countries with low infection rates.

According to a Nation Thailand report, Siripakorn Cheawsamoot from the TAT says the findings of the survey indicate that up to 6 million people are interested in travelling to Thailand at some point this year.

Meanwhile, a number of online travel agency platforms in France have also carried out a survey. The poll, conducted by companies such as Go Voy, Opodo, and eDreams, showed that the number of hits to tourism-related websites rose by 15% once the success of Covid-19 vaccines was announced. The top destinations searched for were Dubai at 49%, Marrakesh at 27%, and Bangkok at 25%.

Another travel survey in the Americas found that most holidaymakers have chosen to postpone their trips by 7 months to a year, rather than cancelling completely. Siripakorn says that booking flexibility is a priority for Americans.

“Flexibility to reschedule is the top priority for American tourists, followed by safety. These tourists are looking for safety, no quarantine, flexibility, and no deposit.”

Meanwhile, a report issued by Skift Research shows that travel will not recover until 2023 and will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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