Pheu Thai Party’s Standpoint on the Draft of 2015 Constitution

(Unofficial Translation)

Pheuthai Party Statement

Pheu Thai Party’s Standpoint on the
Draft of 2015 Constitution

the drafting of the 2015 constitution news, Pheu Thai Party leaders: Phumtham
Wechayachai, (Secretary-General), Choosak Sirinil (Legal Advisor) and Phongthep
Thepkanchana (Legal Advisor) have expressed Pheuthai Party’s political
standpoint and deep concerns that the Constitution which has no trust, no
respect and no faith in people’s right would leads to endless problem in the
future. Worse, 2015 constitution has taken people’s legitimate right of the

we would like to question about the parliamentary system, election system, and
some topics that constitution drafting committee (CDC) proposed in the session.
We believe that the draft charter should be opened for public opinions. Diverse
opinions will encourage democratic systems to truly happen. Pheuthai Party is
concerned of the followings:

1. The new
charter has no trust, no respect and no faith in people’s right would leads to
endless problem in the future. Worse, 2015 constitution has taken people’s
legitimate right of the people. 

1.1 The charter
has taken away the people’s legitimate and democratic rights to elect their
senators. All senate cabinet members will be appointed and will have a term of
6 years, which is longer than those of the Members of Parliament. Senators can
stay in position for 2 consecutive terms. Their expanded authorities include
the right to propose new legislation, to scrutinize the government, to select
Independent Bodies, to impeach people’s representatives, including the Prime
Minister, Head of Supreme Court, and to approve Minister Cabinet.  

“Appointed Senates” who have controls over the elected representatives contradict
the principle of democracy, especially when expanded authority allows the
appointed senators to have vast influences over what people’s representative’s
decisions. As a result, people’s legitimate right is handed to the group of
people who will select the senators.

1.2 Voices of
people will not be heard when the draft charter allows the Prime Minister to be
selected by the House of Representative together with the Upper House
(especially when nearly half of both Houses are not elected). Thailand’s
democracy will be regressed to before the Era of Dark Ages (1992).

the draft charter allows the Prime Minister to be unelected, this new
constitution seriously contradicts the basic principle of democracy, as most
Thais hope the head of executive branch stay connected to the people. This
draft of constitution is opened for “Junta Proxy”. Setting path for Junta to prolong
their hold on power. This will endlessly polarize and divide the country.

1.3 The draft
charter will destroy the check and balance system between Executive and Legislative
branch when the dissolve of Parliament is tied to the end of cabinet members if
the Prime Minister loses votes in Censure Debate.

charter amendment will weaken the Legislative branch’s morale to check and
balance the Executive branch since the Legislatives’ interests are in conflict.
As a result, political negotiations are likely to happen.

2.   The
draft charter will cause Thailand to be politically instable. The country
leader who is unelected by the people will has no responsible to the people.
Thailand will be once again unstable and weakened.

2.1 CDC claimed
the draft charter is based on the German Mixed Member Proportional Method when in reality the German
style system was partly used with the aim of only to weaken Pheuthai and other
major political party.

Because Germany is a country with multiple
states, Mixed Member Proportional Method is required that all states are fairly
represented in the parliament. On the other hand, Thailand is a single-state
country. The misuse of such method will bring Thailand political instability. In
the past, many efforts were taken to weaken Pheuthai Party. (The constitution
was torn and rewritten, then amended in 2007 and 2011). Before 1997, the
government consisted of many small political parties. The government then was
busy maintaining their power rather than serving people. In 1997, Thailand’s
political parties came to consensus agreement to draft the constitution which
was believed then that it would stabilize the country.

constitution has decreased the numbers of constituency to 250 (from 400 in 1997
and 375 in 2007). This change will decrease electoral district size. One
constituency will be accounted for 260,000 people in a district (from 160,000
in 1997 and 173,000 in 2007), which is nearly double of the latest number. In
the end, it is the people who will stand to lose.

2.2 The Members of Parliament are not
mandate to follow his or her political party’s direction.

As a
consequence, the government will not be able to fulfill their promises to its
people. To successfully drive a policy, the Executive branch has to win the
majority votes in the House of Representatives. If the MP can decide otherwise,
the policy are least likely to happen.

2.3 The future government will have no
power to manage appoint capable authorities to carry out their policies since
new constitution has appointed a separate and independent committee to appoint
civil servants based on moral system. No executives can manage effectively
without ability to choose their own compatible team. The government will most
likely be incompetent without civil servants who serve the same goal and
evaluation objectives. When the government cannot reward civil servants career
progress, the public employees will lack incentives to work as team.

2.4 The Appointed Senators are to approve
the Minister Cabinet.

Minister are not to recruit his or her own Cabinet Members without Senators’
consensus. In the end, the new constitution will create a new rise of power in
the Parliament system.

3. The undemocratic constitution is drafted
by a group of selected committees who do not represent the interest of the
people. The hidden agenda is to outlaw future constitution amendments through
democratic process.

three procedures of charter amendment are almost impossible for any change to

1)  To amend the charter, the Government has to
win 2 out 3 majority votes when the constitution since1974 has required only more
than half of the votes from both Houses. With almost half of the two Houses
were appointed, winning 2 out of 3 against the appointed senators are almost

2)  After the voting in the Parliament, The
charter amendment must be approved by the Constitutional Court. Once again,
this charter has allowed judicial branch to intervene the decisions of the
legislative branch.

3)  The final procedure is people referendum.
The charter amendment has to be referred by the people before proposing for the
king’s approval.

2015 constitution is adopted, the constitution leaves no room for any amendment.
Any change to constitution will only be possible through another Coup d’état.

Party believes that the writing of 2015 constitution seriously jeopardizes the
basic principle of democracy under the parliamentary system. This reflects the
rooted problem which the committees do not accept the legitimate rights of Thai
people. Moreover, the National Reform Committee and National Strategic
Reformation Committee mentioned in this draft charter are only another forms of
continuation of the current National Legislative Assembly and National Reform
Council. The committees’ agenda is to control and direct the newly elected
government in the future.

the writing of this constitution is not a path to the country’s resolution as
we all have hoped.

Pheuthai Party

9 March 2015

See Also “Original Statement in Thai :

Categories: Interview