Thai king asks for constitution to be amended
Bangkok, Jan 10 (IANS) Thailand’s King Vajiralongkorn has asked for certain amendments in the country’s new constitution before it is passed, government officials said on Tuesday.
The monarch has sought amendment of three-to-four issues in the section devoted to the authority and role of the king, according to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha.
“It does not involve people’s right and freedom at all. It is about His Majesty’s authority,” said Prayut.
The Prime Minister added that he will amend the section dedicated to the king, the only section remaining from the constitution which was abolished after the coup in 2014.
Prayut did not specify which points were to be modified in the section on the monarch, which determines his powers and authority to appoint members of the Privy Council and bestow noble titles, among others.
According to the Prime Minister, the amendment of the interim constitution, approved in a referendum on August 7, 2016, will be done within a month and will be transposed into the new constitution in another three months before the document will be presented to the king for his approval.
Prayut’s announcement comes a day after Vice Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam warned that the new constitution will remain invalid if it is not approved by the king before February 6, when the legal deadline expires.
The new constitution is part of the roadmap designed by the military junta to restore democracy in the country with elections expected to be held later this year.
The draft was composed by a team of 21 members handpicked by the junta, and it serves to consolidate the power of the military and state bodies controlled by bureaucrats in the political sphere, while weakening the elected government.
This is the 20th constitution that Thailand has adopted since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932.