Thailand’s Constitutional Court ruled yesterday, March 11th, that all constitutional amendments must be approved by referendum and voted on by the public in order to proceed with a draft charter.
The majority of members of the Constitutional Court had just agreed that the parliament holds the power and duty to draft a new constitution only if a total of two referendums have to proceed and be approved.
First, the people will hold the right to vote on whether they want a new constitution or not. After that, another public referendum must be made for mutual acceptance of a constitution when a new constitution is completely drafted.
The decision of the Constitutional Court came after a parliament meeting on February 9, when Paiboon Nititawan, a deputy leader of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), urged the Court’s consideration to the duty and responsibility of the Parliament, mentioned in Section 210, whether it holds the power to draft the Constitution amendment or whether the draft can pass the set up with a charter amendment committee.
Meanwhile, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul commented on the referendum rule that the referendum would not delay the constitution amendment as it is also one of several legal procedures that have to be made, similar to other legal processes.
“The procedure is issued by the court, so it was thoroughly considered and decided. It cannot be considered something time-consuming,” he shortly stated.
This comment followed concerns from some on social media that organizing two referendums could take many, many months if not longer.
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