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'PM Prayut not fully satisfied' - Head drafter says new charter is a work of compromise


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'PM not fully satisfied'
By The Nation

 

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Head drafter says new charter is a work of compromise

 

BANGKOK: -- WITH THE new constitution already in effect, digital journalist of Nation Multimedia Group Suthichai Yoon sat down with Meechai Ruchupan, chair of the Constitution Drafting Commission, for deeper insights.

 

INCLUDING THE LATEST CONSTITUTION, HOW MANY CHARTERS HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED IN THE WRITING?

 

There have been five charters that I have been involved directly as a charter writer. They are the 1978, the 1991, the 2017 Constitutions and two others that were interim. I also had parts in writing of the 1997 and 2007 charters. I did not help write them but I was in the Parliament and I helped checking and correcting. I also countersigned them after the royal endorsement.

 

WILL THIS BE THE LAST CONSTITUTION OF YOUR LIFE?

 

I think it should be. This is regardless of its life-span. I don’t think I will be able to do another one. It takes a lot of effort. Every day after work I always have to lay down very still. This is because it is not only the Constitution but also other legislation that is my job. This takes a lot of brainpower.

 

CAN THE NEW CONSTITUTION GUARANTEE IMPROVEMENT OF POLITICS AND POLITICIANS?

 

They have to be more careful. If they are not aware of the severe [penalties], it will be a wrong step and they will be barred from politics for life. If one or two people are punished, everyone will be more aware.

 

This is our intention. This is because some of the actions are inappropriate and truly dangerous for democracy. For instance, vote-buying will be punishable by a lifetime ban on election, instead of just five years. The door to politics would be shut tight and the person could be pronounced dead from politics.

 

DO YOU THINK THIS CONSTITUTION WILL BE THE LAST FOR THE COUNTRY?

 

Some said that when His Majesty the King presided over the ceremony to promulgate the Constitution it was the first time in 48 years. I thought to myself that this charter could be around for at least 48 years, too. I take it as a lucky number and think it is how long the charter will last.

 

HOW INFLUENTIAL WERE YOU IN THE MEETING DURING THE DRAFTING PROCESS? HOW MANY PER CENT CAME FROM YOU?

 

It would not have been this good if I had done it alone. But this we’ve got many experts from many fields to help contribute. There was only once or twice that I used my right as a senior to conclude something. But I never said that I had more experience and forced them to follow my lead. We never argued aggressively. We reasoned with one another. The only time we had to resort to voting was when we had to decide where we would take our retreat trip.

 

But I admit the wordings are mine because I was the one typing it for everyone to see in the screens. And we debated until we reached agreement. Also, we had to think about people outside the room, too. We tried to compromise.

 

In the future, if people will be stronger politically, they can change the systems. I won’t mind.

 

ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT CRITICISM THAT YOU ARE DOING THIS FOR THE NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR PEACE AND ORDER (NCPO)?

 

No. We have treated the NCPO as everyone else. We sent letters to gather opinions from them. The Constitu-tion Drafting Commission (CDC) members had never seen PM Prayut Chan-o-cha. And the PM also left us alone.

 

Also, there were no orders from the NCPO, I insist. Even if there were, they would not mean anything. However, in the meeting we have Maj Gen Veera Rojanavas who is close to the PM. He only took notes and reported to the PM. I also told him to report to the PM too, assuring that the charter would be done in time.

 

IS THE NCPO SATISFIED WITH THE NEW CHARTER?

 

I heard him say that [Prayut] was not fully satisfied. But I told him that neither was I. This is because we have to consider other people too. It is a charter for everyone. Some people |will lose, some will gain. But at the end, we have to make it possible to be together.

 

IS IT TRUE THAT THE INTENT OF THE CHARTER IS TO CREATE A MULTI-PARTY GOVERNMENT?

 

No, that was not our intention. But the number of seats seen now is calculated based on the data they have. But we don’t know [how many seats different parties will win]. We may know the statistics of the last election but the numbers may not apply to the new election method. We opted for this because it cannot be calculated beforehand. Everyone is equal.

 

Some people are afraid that the NCPO will have power to determine the next government. [But] there has been no sign that the NCPO will form a party. Last year when we were writing, there were absolutely no signs at all. I never thought about the NCPO or took them in the equation because they do not have a political base.

 

Some people think about having a minor party to be a nominee [for them] and form a government but it would be difficult. It is only possible when both big parties gain less than half of seats in the House. But that is very unlikely.

 

But if small parties really succeed in forming a government, they will have to take a sleeping pill every night.

 

IS IT POSSIBLE TO LEGALLY KEEP PUTTING OFF THE ELECTION … LIKE THE ELECTION WILL NEVER COME?

 

I don’t think so. I heard the PM was counting the day until the election just like me because this [work] is very exhausting. And because the PM is hot-tempered and he works unceasingly, it must be especially exhausting for him. But he is just doing his best. People may think he is working hard because he wants to stay on. But that is not the case.

 

WHEN CAN WE EXPECT THE ELECTION, LATEST?

 

Late 2018, if no world war breaks out. I cannot think of other political incidents [that would delay it]. A |delay because of organic laws won’t happen either. I will not ruin my own reputation.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30313130

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-04-24
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"New charter is a work of compromise". Come on! It has been drafted by a CDC appointed by the Junta and screened and approved by an NLA appointed by the Junta. The word "compromise" is surely not adequate in this case!

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

the PM is hot-tempered

Not a plus for an unelected, entitled prime minister. 

 

3 hours ago, webfact said:

This is because we have to consider other people too.

Other people or little people ?  Hot heads have little consideration for others.  Thailand use to be such a nice place. 

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

I heard him say that [Prayut] was not fully satisfied. But I told him that neither was I. This is because we have to consider other people too. It is a charter for everyone. Some people |will lose, some will gain. But at the end, we have to make it possible to be together.

Yes some will lose and some will win. But don't worry, it is exactly the same people (99%) losing, and the same (1%) winning. 

It is a shame that they had to consider other people, but I am sure they got over it quickly.

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Why so much negativity? Have any of you commenters actually  read the document?

 

Seems to me one of the main goals was to reign in corrupt politicians. In that respect it is still a compromise 

but it will make things more difficult for those with ill intentions.

Edited by NoBrainer
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Fifth time's a charm.

 

On the plus side, the Prayut "government" might well end up being the longest continuous serving in Thailand's history?

 

 

WHEN CAN WE EXPECT THE ELECTION, LATEST?
 
Late 2018, if no world war breaks out. I cannot think of other political incidents [that would delay it]. A |delay because of organic laws won’t happen either. I will not ruin my own reputation.

 

 

Yeah, that's what's important here. 

 

 

Seems to me one of the main goals was to reign in corrupt politicians.

 

Not certain this is the goal of any constitution? A constitution might guarantee citizen's rights, and generally how a government might serve them?

 

Corrupt politicians (not the current lot obviously) can be voted out, or prosecuted under the law.

 

 

 

 

Edited by mtls2005
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27 minutes ago, NoBrainer said:

Why so much negativity? Have any of you commenters actually  read the document?

 

Seems to me one of the main goals was to reign in corrupt politicians. In that respect it is still a compromise 

but it will make things more difficult for those with ill intentions.

I think if you live in a socialist country and you are used to the military dominating politics, you really have nothing negative to comment on the charter. 

 

You seem to have a high tolerance for military corruption. I am sure you will warm up to the fact that the military will never allow any investigation to their corruption. They also have an amnesty to back them up. The latest extra judiciary killing of the Lahu activist has much ill intention. Do you think so?

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8 hours ago, webfact said:

WITH THE new constitution already in effect, digital journalist of Nation Multimedia Group Suthichai Yoon sat down with Meechai Ruchupan, chair of the Constitution Drafting Commission, for deeper insights.

Grab this opportunity while you can 

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7 hours ago, NoBrainer said:

Why so much negativity? Have any of you commenters actually  read the document?

...

 

For general information: based on a comment by the Prime Minister published in the newspapers, the text of the new constitution promulgated earlier this month will not become available for reading until it is published in the Royal Gazette. Such publication usually takes place 90 days after the date of promulgation.

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"WILL THIS BE THE LAST CONSTITUTION OF YOUR LIFE"

 

This is by far the most humorous thing I have ever heard The have now been 20 constitutions 

 

I have another 15 or 20 years left on this planet and I am betting there will be at least one if not 2 more in my lifespan

 

Anyone what to take the bet

Oh I should not ask Betting is not allowed in Thailand

Sorry

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8 hours ago, NoBrainer said:

Why so much negativity? Have any of you commenters actually  read the document?

 

Seems to me one of the main goals was to reign in corrupt politicians. In that respect it is still a compromise 

but it will make things more difficult for those with ill intentions.

The new constitution is designed to prevent anyone from ever again restricting the old elite's access to, and control of, the trough. 

So yes, it will make things more difficult for people with ill intentions, but only for those who are not aligned with the present rulers.

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"WILL THIS BE THE LAST CONSTITUTION OF YOUR LIFE"
 
This is by far the most humorous thing I have ever heard The have now been 20 constitutions 

 

 

I think the question was referring to "Meechai's" life, rather than yours? And that his answer meant that even if he lives a long life he has no desire to participate in writing a sixth (or eighth) constitution.  

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