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 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.
New regulations on political parties have sparked debate over whether these will make parties more responsive to voters, or whether they will kill off many of Thailand’s current parties. On 7 December 2016, the Constitution Drafting Committee published the first draft of the Organic Act on Elections, a reform of regulations on political parties that comes under the new junta-backed constitution.
The chairman of the junta-appointed Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has given a green light to raising the salary of government and parliament members, saying the plan will retain ‘good people’ in politics. On 9 November 2016, Meechai Ruchuphan, Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), expressed approval for a proposal from the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) to increase the salary of the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers, and members of parliament.
To prevent politicians from committing severe corruption, the death penalty will be enshrined in an organic law of the junta-backed draft charter. On 2 November 2016, Meechai Ruchuphan, the Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), announced the CDC has been drafting the organic law for political parties — one of the most crucial laws of the junta-sponsored draft charter, reported Voice TV.
Thailand’s draft constitution will be sent for royal approval on 9 November. The King will have 90 days to revise it before approval. On 1 November 2016, junta leader Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha announced that the deadline for Thailand’s draft constitution to be ready for the King to sign is 9 November.
A public university has notified its lecturers not to criticise the junta-sponsored draft constitution, saying public institutions have to support the government. Arjinjonathan Arjinkit, lecturer of the Faculties of Humanities and Social Science of Rajabhat Rajanagarindra University in the central province of Chachoengsao posted a status on his Facebook account on 25 May titled ‘When the university monitors your Facebook’.
After reserving six seats in the senate for military and police chiefs, the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) revealed that the junta will get to handpick the senate selection committee members. Meechai Ruchuphan, President of the CDC, on Thursday, 24 March 2016, told the media that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) will get to screen candidates for the committee of nine persons who will be tasked with selecting all 250 senators.