PROGRESSIVE Movement leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit said today (March 18) that he is not giving up on amending the constitution after an amendment bill was rejected in its third and final reading in parliament last night and will now move to gather signatures to amend it section by section, Siam Rath newspaper said.
In his comment on this key bill’s defeat, Thanathorn urged people who love democracy to not give up and move on to the next step which is to participate in a sign-up campaign to amend one section at a time.
He added that his party will be kicking off a campaign to gather signatures for these amendments soon.
“I am so sorry that the parliament, which should be the solution for society. instead closed the door to the exit.
“But we cannot give up as we cannot let our children live in this type of society forever.”
Meanwhile Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said at Government House today that he did not know whether the defeat of the charter amendment bill would affect the working of the government coalition.
However he added that the Constitution has to be amended. The question is how it is to be done and the correct procedure to follow.
Asked how he would propose this to the 250 senators who do not agree with amending the constitution, Gen. Prawit said he did not know and to go and ask them.
According to Bangkok Post, the charter amendment bill received votes of support from 206 House representatives and two of the 250 senators, while half of the current joint parliament is 367 (there are by-elections pending for vacant seats).
Four senators voted against the bill and 10 representatives and 84 senators abstained. Nine representatives and 127 senators chose “no vote”.
The constitution also requires a constitutional bill to have the approval of at least one-third, 84, of the senate.
Top and Home Page: Progressive Movement leader Thanathorn. Photos: Siam Rath