Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC)
The junta’s lawmakers have proposed a law which will allow authorities to tap the phones of politicians suspected of corruption. On 19 December 2017, Meechai Ruchupan, chairperson of the junta-appointed Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), expressed concern that the junta’s National Legislative Assembly (NLA) is proposing to grant the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) power to track the communication devices of people holding political positions. The CDC chairman is worried that the proposal would give too m
The chairman of the junta’s Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has dismissed nepotism accusations after the appointment of his daughter as his deputy secretary raised many eyebrows. On 30 October 2017, the Royal Gazette published National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order No. 6/2017 on the re-appointment of 34 officials working for the NCPO. One is Mayura Shuangshoti, daughter of Meechai Ruchuphan, chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), as a deputy secretary to her father.
The junta-appointed lawmakers have accepted in principle the Organic Act on the Constitutional Court which will protect the court from contempt and online criticism. Breaching the law can lead to up to one month in prison, a 50,000 baht fine, or both.
The junta-appointed Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has protected the Constitutional Court against contempt under the organic law. Udom Ratamarit, spokesperson of the CDC, revealed that the CDC has submitted the draft organic law on the procedures of the Constitutional Court to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), Voice TV reports. He said the NLA will consider the bill on 28 September 2017.
After a five-year transition period in which 250 senators will be hand-picked by the junta, a reduced number of 200 senators will be elected from among 20 professional groups. On 5 August 2017, Norachit Sinhaseni, spokesperson of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), announced the draft of the organic law on how the senate will be elected after 2022, the Thai News Agency reported. According to the CDC plan, 10 senators will be selected from each of 20 professional groups.
The drafters of the constitution claim that the new organic law requiring removal of the current National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) would make it more credible internationally. The commission chair disagrees. On 20 June 2017, Meechai Ruchuphan, chairman of the junta-appointed Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) told the media of the plan to remove the current commissioners at NHRC.
The chair of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has said that there was nothing wrong in the junta using its absolute power under Section 44 to bypass environmental regulations. On 24 May 2017, Meechai Ruchuphan, chairman of the junta-appointed CDC, told the media that it is not unconstitutional to use Section 44 of the Interim Constitution to bypass regulations and normal procedures in the development of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project.
After almost three years in power and billions of baht spent in drafting the new constitution, the 20th Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand was officially enacted on 6 April 2017. Thailand has gone through 19 constitutions in less than a century and there is no guarantee that the latest one drafted by the junta-appointed Constitution Drafting Committee will be the last one.
The junta’s Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has confirmed that the new constitution will be ratified in April, when the CDC will also submit two organic bills — on political parties and the election commission — to the junta-appointed parliament. On 28 March 2017, Udom Ratammarit, a CDC representative, said that the draft constitution has already been submitted to the King for final endorsement.
Thailand’s junta has shown itself unwilling to reconsider the inclusion of capital punishment in its Organic Act on Political Parties.