Nitirat on the junta’s constitution I

Nitirat has been quiet for some time. Its website shows its last post was 20 May 2014, two days before the coup. The junta’s constitution seems to have changed this.

For those who read Thai, the group’s take on the draft charter is here. The criticisms made of the charter are detailed and lengthy.Nitirat

For those using English, The Nation reports that Nitirat “objects to multiple aspects of NCPO-driven draft [charter].”

The statement noted several flaws:

  • the draft would allow the the junta “to continue to wield absolute power through Article 44;”
  • the allocation of senate seats to the military brass and the police chief meant the junta would continue to influence administration;
  • a senate that is junta selected would facilitate the junta’s role in administration; the impunity granted to the junta “from taking responsibility for any of its actions before or after the charter takes effect” is a travesty;
  • the “single-ballot election system, saying it would distort the intentions of voters;”
  • the” indirect election of senators” means the senate is disconnected from the people and is undemocratic;
  • an elected government “would not have the power and independence to make policy and run the country…”;
  • the “Constitutional Court and independent agencies were also allocated too much power because they would have the authority to check the Lower House, the Senate and the Cabinet…”;
  • in a remarkable innovation, the “court also would have the power to call a meeting of Parliament, the prime minister, the Supreme Court president, the Administrative Court and other relevant bodies to make decisions on issues not covered by the charter.”
  • amendments to the charter are difficult, “requiring the votes of more than half of the Lower House and more than one-third of the Senate, while the Constitution Court would have a supervisory role…”.

All that shows that the charter is the junta’s plan for the military and “good people” – i.e., anti-democrats – to maintain an authoritarian Thailand for years to come.

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