Thailand’s lawmakers had voted a rejection of several drafts of charter amendments including the “People’s Draft” proposed by iLaw during the parliament session yesterday, November 19.
Two out of seven drafts of charter amendments, one proposed by the governing parties and another by the oppositional parties, were passed in the first reading. Both amendments refer to Section 256 of the constitution regarding the establishment of a constitution-drafting assembly (CDA).
They both seek ways to revise Section 256 to pave the way for the establishment of the CDA. While the oppositional parties proposed the idea that all of 200 CDA’s members must directly come from the public’s election, the ruling parties introduced that only 150 are directly elected and 50 of them are indirectly elected from other groups.
In order for the constitutional amendment to pass, it requires the votes from 82 senators among a total of 366 votes in both houses, the Members of Parliament and the Upper House.
The first draft sponsored by the oppositional parties has received 576 votes, including 127 from senators while the government’s draft has received 647 votes with 176 from senators.
Meanwhile, the last draft of charter amendments, sponsored by the civil group iLaw, has received only 212 parliament votes from two houses with 138 lawmakers who had opposed the draft and 369 of them abstained votes. Only three senators voted for this so-called “People’s Draft”.
The iLaw’s draft, supported by more than 100,000 Thai people, seeks to revoke all policies implemented by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), including its national strategies and the non-elected Prime Minister and his senators. Some measures also relate to and mention Thailand’s highest institution.
The rejection of the iLaw draft had also triggered waves of anger from pro-democracy protesters who were marching to the Police headquarters in Bangkok, accusing MPs and senators of serving the “tyrannical” government and ignoring the demands of the people.
The vote session ended at around 7:30 PM. A 45-member committee was set up to scrutinize the drafts before their second reading next Tuesday, November 24.
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