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Thai Charter drafting: No backing for 'super minister' proposal


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CHARTER DRAFTING IDEAS
No backing for 'super minister' proposal

The Nation

BANGKOK: -- LAWMAKERS have dismissed a proposal for the legislative, administrative and judicial branches to be augmented by a fourth power - a so-called "super minister".

Constitution Drafting Committee chairman Borwornsak Uwanno dismissed the proposal, saying it had been floated by one person and did not come from King Prajadhipok's Institute. Borwornsak also serves as the institute's secretary-general.

The proposal was raised by Assoc Prof Panitan Wattanayagorn during the "Thai Democracy in Decades: Power Balance" seminar at the institute on Saturday.

Panitan said the super minister would have the ultimate power, above the other branches of power, as they served as a "public governance or national governance" figure that exercised power when the other branches were in conflict.

The proposal follows more than 10 years of political strife, when pressure groups responded to the country meeting a political dead-end by calling on those with extra-constitutional powers or royal powers to find a quick fix to problems.

At times pressure groups sought guidance and assistance from those with special powers in a bid to find solutions to ending a constitutional or a political crisis.

National Reform Council member Paiboon Nititawan also dismissed the proposal, saying the judicial, legislative and administrative model struck a balance as stipulated in many previous charters and was already effective provided the charter was enforced strictly.

He said having a super minister would never happen because the idea was unsuitable for the country and it was unlikely the public would accept it. Despite that, he said the Constitution Drafting Committee would discuss the idea.

Former Pheu Thai Party MP Somkid Chuakong also disagreed with the proposal, insisting it would create an overlapping power that would bring negative consequences to the balance of power and state administration.

He said he supported the proposal to revamp independent agencies, which linked with the power of the people.

The public, he said, should be allowed to cross-check the work of independent agencies and take them to court if they abuse their power while members of agencies must make asset declarations.

Paiboon, meanwhile, has voiced his opposition to holding a public referendum on the new charter, which is yet to be drafted. He dismissed the cited reason for the need for a referendum - that it would act as a shield to increase the charter's longevity.

"The longevity of the charter depends on whether its essence truly benefits the public and the country," he said, adding that a referendum may be appropriate for certain provisions of the charter.

"This should happen after the charter has been in force for some time and problems arise. Then it is suitable to hold a public referendum if such provisions need to be altered or scrapped," he said.

Responding to those who say a public referendum translates to public participation in the reform process, Paiboon insists public hearings could be used to get people involved in the process.

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/No-backing-for-super-minister-proposal-30247379.html

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-- The Nation 2014-11-10

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When any countries constitution is a "living document" subject to the will of the masses, rule of law will fail.

Thailand is a good example of the result when their constitution is easily changed by few, particularly if those who draft and vote approval may not have the best interest of the country in mind.

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Poor Panitan was just trying to legitimize the current pseudo-super minister Prayuth's position. A super minister would avoid the need for future military coups because Articles 17 and 44 of the Interim Charter would essentially be incorporated into the new constitution to allow the military permanent control of all government elements.

The NCPO appears to want something a little more subtle, like its suggested "People's Council' (similar to the Chinese politburo) that would oversee all three branches of government and make "adjustments" where and when necessary. Noncivilian members of the People's Council would be military appointees in the same manner that members of the NCPO are currently selected.

Panitan should be congradulated for his honesty.

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Can you imagine if a former PTP spokesman came up with a proposal like this. I am sure there would be all kinds of conspiracy theories about someone wanting to be a President, and lots of talk of draconian legal action that would be taken for what this was potentially suggesting.

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Can you imagine if a former PTP spokesman came up with a proposal like this. I am sure there would be all kinds of conspiracy theories about someone wanting to be a President, and lots of talk of draconian legal action that would be taken for what this was potentially suggesting.

True, true.

Mind you, this is not a proposal by an NLA or NCPO spokes person, but by a private person.

"The proposal was raised by Assoc Prof Panitan Wattanayagorn during the "Thai Democracy in Decades: Power Balance" seminar at the institute on Saturday."

As such your comparison isn't really valid, I'm afraid.

BTW the CDC has the duty to accept all input for discussion, even strange ideas.

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Can you imagine if a former PTP spokesman came up with a proposal like this. I am sure there would be all kinds of conspiracy theories about someone wanting to be a President, and lots of talk of draconian legal action that would be taken for what this was potentially suggesting.

True, true.

Mind you, this is not a proposal by an NLA or NCPO spokes person, but by a private person.

"The proposal was raised by Assoc Prof Panitan Wattanayagorn during the "Thai Democracy in Decades: Power Balance" seminar at the institute on Saturday."

As such your comparison isn't really valid, I'm afraid.

BTW the CDC has the duty to accept all input for discussion, even strange ideas.

umm, thats why i said a PTP spokesman, Panitan was spokesman for the Abhisit Govt.

Yes i am sure the CDC has so many viable channels for people around the country that they can all make their voices heard....... really i do.

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Can you imagine if a former PTP spokesman came up with a proposal like this. I am sure there would be all kinds of conspiracy theories about someone wanting to be a President, and lots of talk of draconian legal action that would be taken for what this was potentially suggesting.

True, true.

Mind you, this is not a proposal by an NLA or NCPO spokes person, but by a private person.

"The proposal was raised by Assoc Prof Panitan Wattanayagorn during the "Thai Democracy in Decades: Power Balance" seminar at the institute on Saturday."

As such your comparison isn't really valid, I'm afraid.

BTW the CDC has the duty to accept all input for discussion, even strange ideas.

umm, thats why i said a PTP spokesman, Panitan was spokesman for the Abhisit Govt.

Yes i am sure the CDC has so many viable channels for people around the country that they can all make their voices heard....... really i do.

Emphasis on 'former' ?

Mind you for Pheu Thai the 'active' spokesperson is still Prompong whereas Panitan was only 'acting' spokesperson for a while as far as I know. The current one is Chavanont who's been in that position at least since November 2011. Can't find his date of appointment at the moment.

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