Pheu Thai Party’s Political Standpoint on The Draft Constitution as of 27 August 2015

draft constitution totally disregards
sovereignty of the Thai people.  Elected
government will be weak and cannot perform. 
true power belongs to agencies and mechanism which are designed to  maintain the junta’s power without check and
will lack basic rights and opportunities. Economy will slump. Reconciliation
will never be achieved.


From the beginning, Pheu Thai Party
has gathered comments and proposed to the Constitution Drafting Committee both
verbally and in writing. We have asked for many adjustments such as:

Many provisions which are contrary to
international democratic principles and rule of law.

The constitution must not create
agencies and mechanism to maintain the junta’s power which will result in even deeper
political polarization.

There should be tangible and
comprehensive reform.

The constitution must pave way for reconciliation
based on mercy, good wishes and forgiveness.

Law enforcement must be fair, unbiased
and without double standard.

The CDC has now finished and
proposed the draft constitution to the National Reform Council. Unfortunately,
the draft constitution does not respond to our previous comments but goes on
opposite direction. The drafting was non-transparent since several drafting processes
were done in secrecy. Public opinions were left unheard.  

Pheu Thai Party concludes that if
the National Reform Council accepts this draft constitution, Thailand will fall
into an endless vicious cycle. As a direct result, Thai people will become even
more politically polarized at all levels for the following reasons:

1. The maintaining of
the junta’s power is undemocratic and despises the people. 

Designing a new election system and mechanisms to unprecedentedly control an elected
government and the House of Representatives.
As a result, Thailand
will end up with a weak government which cannot deal with internal or
international issues.

1.2To open room for the prime minister from an
unelected person outside the framework of the House of Representatives.
The design for a weak government will
eventually lead to a coalition government by the prime minister who is not
elected by and not accountable to the people. This structure clearly opens
doors to the maintenance of the junta’s power.

1.3 One hundred and twenty three senators
out of 200 will be selected.
Powerfulsenate can impeach important politicians,
government officials, judges and members of constitutional organizations, pass laws
and amend the  constitution. The first
batch of senators will be selected under the influence of the cabinet. This structure
also supports the maintenance of the junta’s power.

1.4 The formation of
“the Strategic Reform and Reconciliation Committee” is to maintain the junta’s
The committee comprises 22 members. The commanders in chief of the
army, the navy and the air force, and the police commissioner- general, when
combined  with 11 experts who will be
appointed by the National Legislative Assembly are 16 members, which exceeds
two-thirds of all committee members. To take any “necessary action”, the
committee needs only two-thirds of 22 votes. Therefore, the committee can
exercise its super power, which is considered constitutional, legitimate and
final,  during the first 5 years after
the enactment of the draft constitution.

This committee
is truly  a “Super Board” to maintain the
power of the Junta. The committee has control over any future government and parliament.  Instead of allowing normal democratic
mechanism to resolve any future problems, the CDC has encouraged undemocratic
means which will lead Thailand into the same vicious cycle for even more than 5
years. This shows that the CDC has no belief in democratic system in which
problems can be resolved if all parties are accounted for their own legal
responsibility without bias. Moreover, the CDC reveals its hidden intention
that it designs for a weak government and a weak house of representatives  in order to let this super  committee to intervene and seize power from any
future government and parliament.   

Empowering the Constitutional Court and Independent Bodies to wield power over
future government and parliament.
This is another mechanism to
weaken any future government and parliament and make them unable to implement
election campaigned policies.  As a
result some political parties will be forced to support an unelected person
outside the framework of the House of Representatives to form a coalition

1.6 Creating no less than 20 agencies and
committees which will dominate normal democratic structure.
This scheme will cause more conflicts and waste
taxpayers’ money. Normal democratic structure will not be able to work
effectively. The group of people who work against democracy will continue their
work in denying people’s legitimate rights through these new agencies and committees.

1.7 Constitution amendment is made almost
representatives will have little to no chance to amend the constitution in the
future. The process of the amendment has been made extremely complicated,
including verification by the Constitutional Court and two-thirds votes of 650
members of both Upper and Lower Houses. When 123 senators are appointed,
winning two-thirds votes is impossible. 

2. The draft constitution cites and defines
the rule of law but its provisions totally oppose the rule of law.

necessary action by t
he Strategic Reform and Reconciliation Committee
to supersede any future government and parliament is considered
constitutional,  legitimate and final.
In section
3, the constitution stipulates that all organizations under the constitution must
adhere to the rule of law. In addition, section 205 stipulates that the rule of
laws has 5 fundamental principles including protection of human’s dignity, right,
freedom and equality, individual right to protect oneself  when his rights and freedoms are violated,
inspection of the exercise of state power, the independence of the judiciary
and etc.  

even if the Strategic
Reform and Reconciliation Committee’s action, which obviously contradicts the
rule of law, violates people’s rights or freedoms, no one can lodge any
complaint or file any case against such committee. The committee can exercise
its unscrutinized super power and is not accountable at all.

2.2 Any
orders and announcements of the NCPO and its leader and acts in accordance with
such orders and announcements are considered constitutional, legitimate and
final. No one can file any case against the NCPO. This is the total elimination
the rule of law.
The stipulation of the rule of law in this draft
constitution is meaningless and fake. The NCPO can continue to violate people’s
rights, freedoms and equality, or even intervene the independence of the
judiciary. In conclusion, the junta who destroyed fundamental democratic principles
and rule of law is immune from scrutiny, while elected politicians are held
responsible for any unconstitutional and unlawful act.

For what do the Thai people have the
constitutional like this?

3. Anyone previously
impeached or sanctioned with a suspension of political rights will be
permanently banned from running for or holding any political office.

Such retroactive application of a lifetime ban without any trial or ability to
defend oneself in court, would be a fundamental violation of the civil rights
of politicians. The provisions of the draft constitution opens a way to
interpretation to disqualify any person who was impeached outside the framework
of the senate during undemocratic period.

conclusion, the draft constitution was made with a disguise to be open for
public comments for the purpose of legitimacy; however, the CDC did not really
listen to any proposals and comments which were in line with internationally
accepted democratic principles. Previous small public hearings were just for
show. No democratic changes have been seriously considered. The draft constitution
has no trust in the Thai people. The drafting process has been done in secrecy
with no transparency. This is a far worse constitution than the last one. The
purpose of this constitution is to maintain the junta’s power and create
various agencies and committees to control the elected government. People’s
representatives must be held accountable for all actions when the junta and
affiliated agencies are not. All elected agencies must adhere to the rule of
law while unelected agencies do not. As the CDC has not revealed contents of
the organic laws, there are most likely to be more dictatorial provisions in
those organic laws, which will again non-transparently made.

This draft
constitution destroys the fundamental democratic principles and allows the
dictatorial regime to continue to suppress the Thai people. Thailand can hardly
become peaceful. We urge all parties to reconsider and find resolution in order
to prevent this draft constitution from causing another crisis and serious
damage to our beloved country.

Pheu Thai

27 August