Deputy PM insists Prayut and government willing to address charter amendment

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha will support the rewriting of the entire charter, the Deputy Prime Minister, Wissanu Krea-ngam, told reporters on Thursday.

Prayut and his administration have been under pressure for the past several months as opposition parties in parliament and protestors on the streets push for a rewriting of the constitution.

Even coalition partner, Thailand’s Democrat Party, has pushed for amendments to the current military-drafted charter.

But so far the government has pushed back on amending the constitution voting last month to delay all motions to fix the charter and instead set up a research committee. The move prompted the opposition to walk out of parliament and drew an angry response from protesters.

Some senators, including senator Tuang Antachai, said last week that any attempt to set up a charter drafting committee before a referendum was unconstitutional – possibly delaying mendments further.

Paiboon Nititawan, an MP from the ruling party, then double-downed on the claim on Wednesday that a referendum would be needed if there was a proposal to amend the entire constitution.

On Thursday, Wissanu said that the prime minister was willing to consider re-drafting the charter and said that the senate’s concern should be brought up with the investigative body. He said that any charter that is re-drafted must also pass a referendum and that would require the drafting of referendum laws as well.

Wissanu denied that the government was trying to delay addressing the constitution and insisted that the government was following all necessary steps according to the constitution.

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