New Constitution to save Thailand from political apprehension

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Bangkok: Deliberations on a new Thai constitution begin today. The deliberations include speculations over clauses to stop parties winning a majority and allow unelected officials to govern, in an attempt to end a near-decade of political strife.

However, on a larger scale, the charter is seen as an assault on the electoral success of the former ruling Shinawatra faction.

Thailand’s constitution has undergone more than a dozen re-writes since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932.

Borwornsak Uwanno, chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), said “the new charter will not allow a majority government which can become a parliamentary dictatorship.”

According to the draft, future elections will be determined by a proportional representation system similar to Germany’s that will favour smaller parties and coalition governments. But to avoid legislative paralysis under coalitions, Prime Ministers will not be directly elected by the public.

“Lawmakers will also be barred from becoming ministers so that they cannot use that power to unduly influence the government,” Borwornsak added.

The NRC, which is made of experts, academics and some former politicians, has 30 days to recommend major amendments to the draft.

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