Thai Constitutional changes heat up country’s parliament - GulfToday

Thai Constitutional changes heat up country’s parliament


A woman attends a rally in front of the parliament in Bangkok. Soe Zeya Tun/ Reuters

Gulf Today Report

Amendment in the Thai Constitution, one of the core demands of the nation's student-led pro-democracy movement, has picked up momentum as Thailand’s political battleground shifted on Tuesday from the streets to the country’s Parliament.

Seven draft constitutional amendments are scheduled to be voted on in a two-day joint session of the House and Senate. Constitutional changes require a joint vote of those two bodies. Any that are passed will have to go through second and third readings at least a month after this week’s vote.

Thailand-Royalists1Royalists arrive to rally in front of the parliament in Bangkok. Reuters

Meanwhile, hundreds of Thai royalists in yellow shirts demonstrated outside parliament, calling on lawmakers to reject changes to the constitution drawn up by the country’s former military junta in response to mounting anti-government protests.

It is not expected that Parliament at this point will agree on specific changes for inclusion in a new charter, though the protesters back a draft that would roll back aspects of the current 2017 constitution — enacted during military rule — that granted extra powers to unelected branches of government.


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Demonstrations were due to be held later by anti-government protesters, who are seeking the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former army ruler, and reforms to curb the powers of the monarchy.

Thailand has had 20 constitutions since abolishing the absolute monarchy in 1932 in favor of a constitutional monarchy.

“Amending the constitution is going to lead to the abolition of the monarchy,” royalist leader Warong Dechgitvigrom told reporters at the demonstration, several hundred metres from the parliament building, which was encircled with police barricades built from concrete blocks and barbed wire.

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