Establishment senators condemn democratic amendment

Key senate members are seeking to overturn a proposed constitutional amendment that would lead to a more unicameral parliamentary system. The senators say that the new amendment would interfere with court authorities and become problematic for the country.

The proposed amendment is scheduled to be read in parliament on Tuesday.

“The amendment proposal is unlikely to pass as the bill seeks to revise the parliament’s structure,” says Senator Seree Suwanpanon who chairs the senate committee. “It is opening the door to interfere with the court and independent agencies.”

Parit Wacharasindhu, the leader of the Re-Solution group, submitted a proposed new amendment with 150, 921 signatures in support of completely changing the senate.  He says the amendment will help curb Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha’s massive power.

The amendment draft also mentions the constitutional court. Parit says that the people demand the court to rule on the legality of proposed constitutional amendments.

However, the first proposed amendment was already rejected in parliament as one-third of sitting senators voted against the motion. At least 83 senators must endorse the amendment for it to pass, following Section 256.

Seree added that the amendment would open up a discussion on Tuesday that could potentially lead to further political movements like protests.

He believes the amendment draft was set out to be rejected in parliament intentionally, so that the senators would then be directly blamed for causing further unrest.

Nirote Sunthornlekha, an MP from the ruling Palang Pracharat Party, says that the proposal would first need to get by the party leader before a meeting can even be scheduled for consideration.

“We must carefully consider the draft on the basis that it benefits the people, the country, and society,” Nirote said to a group of reporters at government house.

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