By Thai Newsroom Reporters
A MARATHON DEBATE opened at parliament today (Nov. 16) on constitution amendment legislation historically endorsed by an estimated 150,000 people with chances for its passage being very slim.
The people-endorsed constitution amendment bill was today discussed at greath lengths during a joint House of Representatives/Senate session and is being decided whether to be approved or aborted by a majority vote of the MPs and senators tomorrow.
Former secretary-general of a dissolved Future Forward Party Piyabutr Saengkanokkul and pro-democracy activist Parit Wacharasindhu, among a few other proponents of the bill, clarified the rationales behind their historical move following constitution amendment legislations earlier introduced by political parties and eventually rejected by majority lawmakers.
The joint House/Senate meeting was given 18 hours to debate the disputable bill with government MPs and senators taking the floor to express their vehement disapproval whereas opposition MPs spoke in solid support of it.
Given the fact that the MPs of coalition government parties and senators, all of whom were handpicked by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, outnumber the opposition MPs, the bill is most likely destined for denial by a majority vote tomorrow.
According to the proponents, the people-endorsed constitution amendment bill which is terminally designed to stop Prayut from prolong his rule calls for:
– Abolition of the Senate. Piyabutr pointed out that senators were all handpicked by military juntas set up as aftermaths of the 2006 coup and the 2014 coup as opposed to being elected and connected with the people. Those senators were primarily supposed to speak and vote for the head of government who may have appointed them in the first place as had been the case of those handpicked by the post-coup Prayut regime.
– Amendment to the legal procedures for the naming of all judges of the Constitutional Court and other ”independent organisations” in order to keep them completely, practically independent from the powers that be such as those who rose to power following a military coup as in the case of the 2014 coup orchestrated by then-army chief, now-premier Prayut.
More importantly, Piyabutr remarked, all judges of the Constitutional Court and all members of the other ”’independent organisations” should be subject to examination and have their power kept in check to assure that they will invariably have legal and ethical integrity and will not be influenced by the powers that be and that justice will be transparently served by them.
– Termination to the 20-year National Strategies, prepared by the military-appointed National Legislative Assembly. According to the proponents, such far-fetched schemes were only designed to help prolong the power of the post-coup regime.
– Termination to all laws and regulations made up at the orders of the military juntas who have staged coups and overthrown elected governments. Those were by no means considered democratically legislative or connected with the people in the first place, they said.
Top: Move Forward Party MPs in Parliament today.
Home Page: Former secretary-general of a dissolved Future Forward Party Piyabutr Saengkanokkul. Photos: Siam Rath