New constitution to be drafted… or ready ? Confusion is high

The government has decided to halve the period for redrafting the constitution, from 240 to 120 days, and signalled the possibility the House will be dissolved afterwards.

Government spokesman Nattawut Saikua said Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat told the cabinet meeting yesterday that 240 days would be too long and speeding up the amendment process would benefit the nation.

The spokesman said the cabinet is insistent a new charter is the best solution to the political crisis.

“Rewriting the charter will allow the nation to survive the crisis. Many parties are demanding a House dissolution but it is still uncertain what will happen after a dissolution. The constitution drafting assembly [that the government is forming] can work out mutually acceptable rules as soon as possible.

“If all parties accept them, the government may dissolve the House and return power to the people,” Mr Nattawut said.

At a meeting on the government coalition parties and lawmakers supporting the charter rewrite proposed an assembly comprising 76 representatives from each province, 24 law and political science academics and another 20 representatives from professional groups. They agreed it should have 240 days for the task. (Bangkok Post)

-the government wants to amend the constitution
-it is forming a “constitution drafting assembly” to do so
-the deadline could be 120 or 240 days

But meanwhile :

The coalition parties will hold a meeting to discuss constitutional amendments at the parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

According to Prime Minister’s Office Minister Sukhumpong Ngonkam, it was not the resolution of the cabinet to make the government finish rewriting the charter within 120 days, but it would be beneficial for the government to complete the task soon, adding that taking 240 days would be time consuming.

However, he said no specific dates have been set, but the coalition parties will receive the constitutional draft for consideration at the parliament on Wednesday before determining its timeframe. (Bangkok Post)

-so apparently… a draft is… ready. Already. 😉

Constitution amendment + House dissolution has been the master plan since the PPP won the elections in december.

What is changing is only the method (change of just a few key articles or a whole new draft, draft ready to be voted or a real-false “drafting committee”) and/or the timeframe.

There is obviously some confusion… fog of war ?

The bottom line is : the PPP needs to get rid of the Constitution designed by the Junta and voted by referendum in august 2007.

On the other hand, the PAD can’t let that happen.

So the political stalemate is likely to continue.

4 Responses to “New constitution to be drafted… or ready ? Confusion is high”

  1. 1 chinesethai 23 October 2008 at 7:43 am

    Simple reason….
    Who would be foolish enough to amend constitution at one’s expense?

    Somchai, well actually Thaksin, may be thinking that the Thais will believe in their soap opera. This is clearly just a ploy to neutralize PAD strength after Thaksin received jail sentence. Also a grave insult to the Thai people indeed.

    No end in sight to the stalemate.

  2. 2 paperback 23 October 2008 at 12:04 pm

    @ chinesethai

    “This is clearly just a ploy to neutralize PAD strength after Thaksin received jail sentence.”

    In order to “neutralize PAD strength” you wouldn’t need a new constitution. After all the PAD is not a constitutional body even though its leaders’ seeem to believe this.

    “Also a grave insult to the Thai people indeed.”

    And you suppose so because…?

  3. 3 chinesethai 24 October 2008 at 3:37 am


    Read one of my very first sentences…
    “Who would be foolish enough to amend constitution at one’s expense?”

    Would Somchai, on behalf of Thaksin, be stupid enough to appoint a new constitution drafting team in order to rid himself of power?

    Thaksin is insulting you.

  4. 4 paperback 24 October 2008 at 6:44 am

    “Who would be foolish enough to amend constitution at one’s expense?”

    Well, PAD won’t. That’s for sure. On the other hand the military junta did. Although they reserve the right to return to power any time they deem fit. What this new constitution will bring about – I don’t know. I haven’t seen a draft yet. Let’s discuss its “insulting” contents once we’ve read it, ok?

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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