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The hope that the new charter will be crafted by the people is diminishing due to the latest excuse that the Charter Drafting Committee (CDC) cannot be fully elected, as it may not adequately represent all professions and groups.
This excuse from the Pheu Thai-led government does not make sense.
They argue that there is no guarantee that a fully elected CDC will represent every profession and every individual, such as the LGBT group and indigenous people. But what guarantee do they have that a partially elected one would?
I say “partially” because I hope they will not decide to opt for a fully appointed one, as was the case with the previous committee appointed by the junta.
Regardless of whether it’s partially or fully appointed, the question remains the same: Who will select the new members of the CDC? If they believe that a fully-elected CDC will not represent all professions and groups, why not present multiple candidates for each profession and group that should be represented and let the people decide who should be the representatives of these groups?
The referendum design committee, with more than 30 members, already shows that they cannot represent everyone, as half of them are politicians, and most are from the Pheu Thai Party.
Even more concerning, there are no representatives from the main opposition Move Forward Party, the press, the LGBT group, the indigenous people, or the pro-democracy activists who have been advocating for the rewriting.
Moreover, there is no representation from the civil groups under the ConForAll banner, which managed to gather more than 200,000 signatures calling for the CDC to be fully elected.
Apart from that, the ruling coalition also eliminated the possibility of parliament’s involvement in the rewriting by dropping the petition to push for referendums on the rewriting yesterday, citing that the government is already handling it.
Yes, you are already handling it, but why should it take four years to do so? If the Move Forward Party claims they can do it in 100 days, why not seek their input on how to expedite the process?
Another excuse for dropping the petition was that they fear the senators will reject it. But why not allow the senators to vote on it instead of the government dropping it themselves? What harm would there be in demonstrating once again that these junta-appointed senators are obstructing democratic progress?
What we are seeing so far from the government on this rewriting issue is an attempt to prolong the process as much as possible because the junta-backed parties, the military, and senators do not want it to be rewritten.
If the entire charter is rewritten, the amnesty for the previous coup makers will be nullified, the orders from the National Council for Peace and Order will be abolished, and the junta’s 20-year national strategy will be discarded, which is a positive outcome. However, they are not willing to allow that to easily happen.
The Pheu Thai Party is forced to play this charade because they have no choice, having come into power by cooperating with the junta-backed parties and the senators.
Considering all these factors, the likelihood of the junta-drafted charter being rewritten in the near future is steadily diminishing. However, the people cannot afford to lose hope. The Pheu Thai Party must be persistently encouraged to uphold its commitment, as it cannot sustain this charade indefinitely, and sooner or later, it will exhaust its excuses.