By Thai Newsroom Reporters
A REFRESHED PETITION ATTACHED with 70,500 signatures of people calling for constitution amendment to the extent that all senators be kept out of the legislative process for the naming of a post-election prime minister was today (Feb.22) submitted at parliament.
Members of the so-called Campaign For the Amendment of the Constitution’s Section 272 handed over the petition endorsed by the 70,500 signatures of the pro-amendment people to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai who is expected to forward it to the House of Representatives for deliberation in the next few months.
However, the people-endorsed charter amendment bid will not be put on agenda until after the House reconvenes in May following a two-month recess as of the end of this month.
Former election commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn who has been instrumental in the campaign said it is high time the 250 unelected senators, all of whom were handpicked by the military junta headed by army chief-turned-premier Prayut Chan-o-cha following the 2014 coup, kept their hands off the voting process for head of a post-election government which he said is merely the business of the people-elected MPs in accordance with the internationally recognised democratic rule.
Somchai reassured that many more people are following suit of those who have already signed for the latest petition and that an estimated 265 MPs have so far agreed to it.
Boonsong Chalethorn of Rangsit University suggested the senators “return favours once and for all” to Prayut whom they all endorsed as head of the Palang Pracharath Party-led coalition government following the 2019 election and that they should no longer do so next time.
Boonsong assured that the massive petition merely calls for amendment to Section 272 and no others.
Similar charter amendment efforts have been earlier launched by different parties only to be aborted by a majority of coalition MPs and senators over the last few years.
Meanwhile, the organic laws pertaining to the election for MPs and political parties are yet to be deliberated by legislators in accordance with the earlier-amended, relevant clauses of the constitution after the House reconvenes in May.
The charter amendment pertaining to the election for MPs earlier approved by the lawmakers themselves calls for, among others, two voting ballots for each eligible voter to cast in the next election as opposed to only one ballot provided in the previous election.
One of the ballots will be for a vote for an individual constituency-based, partisan candidate and the other will be for a vote for party-listed contestants which may or may not literally correspond to each other.
Top: The Parliament meeting chamber with an image of the Democracy Monument overlaid. Photo: Matichon
Home Page: Former election commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn. Photo: Matichon