Pheu Thai Party’s Viewpoint on the National Reform Council’s voting Against the Draft Constitution

On September 6th, 2015 the National Reform Council’s majority has voted against the draft constitution by Mr. Bavornsak Uwanno, the Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee. Many Pheu Thai Party Members have voiced their opinions and suggestions through the Party as follows:

   1) The process of drafting the constitution is a consequence of a Coup D’état on May 22, 2014 by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). NCPO abolished the 2007 constitution and launched the 2014 Interim Constitution. NCPO then appointed the Constitution Drafting Committees (CDC) and the National Reform Council (NRC). Both the committees and the drafting process were consequences of the Coup D’état. The roadmap was scheduled by NCPO. NCPO set the time period of 1 year to a general election which later on was prolonged for many reasons. One of the reason was the public referendum which must be executed should NRC passed the constitution. However, on July 15, 2015 NCPO has amended the Interim Constitution that if NRC vote against the constitution, NCPO must appoint new 21 members of CDC within 1 month. The new CDC then must draft the constitution within the next 6 months, execute public referendum for another 4 months, and draft organic law for another 6 months. Then a general election will take place 4 months after. In conclusion the time period from today until the general election is 21 more months.   
   The roadmap, short or long are depending on not the people but NCPO alone. The drafting as well as the voting against the constitution by NRC entirely depend upon NCPO’s control. Pheu Thai Party believe that the more an election is prolong, the more damages our country will be. People will lose their opportunities especially economic ones. Thailand’s economy is tied to democratic system. The country can only fully perform when the government is elected.

   2) Pheu Thai Party believes that one of the keys to reconciliation is to open to public comments where all parties can fully discuss their concerns. Other important keys include to avoid bias, to create justice by enforcing the laws in all organizations, to show kindness for all parties, and to forgive. Drafting new constitution to empower a committee to control over elected government is undemocratic according to international standard. When CDC said that such committee was suitable for current situation in Thailand, CDC merely made an excuse for maintaining the Junta’s power. Political polarization can only be mended by a true democratic system which upholds the majority of the people’s decisions, not a decision of one person nor an organization.  

   3) Pheu Thai Party believes that if NCPO continues to appoint a group of people to draft the constitution under undemocratic process where people cannot voice their opinions, the constitution will lead to yet another endless political polarization. As a result, no one can guarantee how long the country will return to democracy.   
   Pheu Thai Party therefore would like to propose that NCPO amends the 2014 Interim Constitution to allow Thai people to participate in the drafting of the constitution through an election of the Constitution Drafting Assembly or other processes. The drafting process should also be open to public, neutral and follow a certain time frame so that the constitution will be accepted by all parties. This is a legitimate and best solution to reconciliation at the moment. To return our country to normal state is to encourage a general election as soon as possible.  

   Pheu Thai Party
   10 September 2015