Section 44 of 2014 Interim Constitution
21 Nov 2017
Various civil society workers have vowed not to legitimise the military government by cooperating with it, saying the junta’s national strategic plan favours only investors. On 20 November 2017, 72 civil society development workers issued a joint statement vowing not to legitimise the military government by taking part in any mechanisms of the regime.
25 Oct 2017
The junta leader has announced that the regime will use its absolute power to speed up development of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). On 24 October 2017, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, announced after the ministerial meeting that the government is preparing to invoke Section 44 of the Interim Constitution to speed up development of the EEC, according to the Thai News Agency.
10 Jul 2017
After a relatively long absence, a pop music band has made a stunning comeback with a music video mocking the junta. The MV neatly sums up Thailand’s politics during the past week. For the sake of a peaceful life, artists in Thailand usually stay away from politics.
19 Jun 2017
Leading Thai architects and the national association of engineers have denounced the use of Section 44 to speed up the Thai-Chinese high-speed railway line project between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima, pointing out that it puts public safety at risk. “The use of the special law as an exception to building an approach to good governance … may cause confusion and mistrust in the rush to implement the project,” reads the statement of the Engineering Institute of Thailand Under H.M. the King’s Patronage (EIT).
30 May 2017
Three years after the last coup d’état, human rights lawyers have argued that the junta could not hold power without the support of the country’s judicial institutions. Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) on 27 May 2017 released a report about the relationship between the military government and judicial institutions.
26 May 2017
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.
23 May 2017
A government watchdog has evaluated Thailand’s junta as ‘stable, prosperous and sustainable’ on the third anniversary of the last coup, warning that elections will not be enough to dismantle the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). iLaw, after monitoring the laws issued by the NCPO over the past three years, describes in a new report the numerous mechanisms implemented by the NCPO to safeguard its influence no matter the outcome of future elections.
2 May 2017
The military has reportedly detained incommunicado two political dissidents, one of whom is a human rights lawyer who represented a former lèse majesté convict. Kritsadang Nutcharat, a human rights lawyer, told Prachatai that on 30 April 2017, his fellow human rights lawyer, Prawet Praphanukul, informed him that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has summoned him. Prawet asked Kritsadang to represent him on one of his cases before he disappeared and could not be contacted further.
9 Apr 2017
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.
16 Mar 2017
The police have revealed that they have arrested a 14-year-old disciple of the Dhammakaya Temple for protesting against the junta’s use of Section 44 to tighten control around the Dhammakaya complex. On 15 March 2017, police officers of Khlong Luang Police Station of Pathum Thani Province confirmed to Prachatai that on 8 March they arrested a 14-year-old disciple of Dhammakaya Temple, whose identity is withheld due to privacy concerns.
8 Mar 2017
After arresting 18 Uber drivers, the Land Transportation Department has announced that it might ask the junta leader to use his absolute power under the Interim Constitution to crack down on taxi or car-sharing apps. On 7 March 2017, Nanthapong Cherdchu, Deputy Director-General of the Land Transportation Department, told the media that the agency might propose the use of the government’s absolute power under Section 44 of the Interim Constitution to crackdown on Uber, Grab and other car-sharing application services.
6 Mar 2017
Soldiers and security officers have detained a member of an anti-establishment red shirt group at a market close to the Dhammakaya temple and told him not to enter the area again or risk imprisonment. On 5 March 2017, officers of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and soldiers apprehended Anurak Jentawanit, a leader of a red shirt group called ‘Ford Red Path’ at Klang Khlong Luang market in Pathum Thani Province. The market is close to the Dhammakaya temple and is currently used by Dhammakaya monks and disciples as a gathering point.