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Pattaya Daily News

21 October 2008 :: 08:10:02 am 41081

Govt, Politicians Agree to Set Up 120-Member Constitution Drafting Assembly

BANGKOK, Oct 20 - A meeting of the government and parliament agreed to form a 120-member Constitution Drafting Assembly to amend Article 291 of the 2007 Constitution, written during the administration installed by the September 2006 coupmakers in an attempt to end Thailand‘s ongoing political turbulence.
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Sukhupong Ngonkham, Prime Minister’s Office Minister, who chaired the joint panel of the government, House Speaker, senate, and the opposition party said the processes to set up the Constitution Drafting Assembly have made progress.

Deputy Senate Speaker Nikhom Waiyaratphanit attended the meeting Monday as a representative of the speaker of the senate said most members of the upper chamber supported the constitution amendment, Mr. Sukhumpong said.

The meeting agreed that 120 members of the CDA will include 76 representatives of the people–one from each of of 76 provinces, 24 experts in law and political science, and 20 people from professional groups. The CDA is assigned to draft a new charter within 240 days.

“Details and selection processes of the CDA will be announced by the Parliament later,” Mr. Sukhumpong said. “The amendment is close to being completed.”

Gathering signatures of MPs and senators who agree with the constitutional amendment is needed to meet the criteria required by law that one in five of MPs and senators must agree with the amendment,” he said.

It is anticipated that the House Speaker will convene Parliament to consider the issue next week, he added.

The opposition party refused to join the meeting after the police used tear gas to disperse the anti-government People’s Alliance for Democracy supporters outside parliament on Oct 7 to clear the way for the MPs to convene a meeting for the PM to deliver his policies.

Mr. Sukhumpong insisted that the formation of the CDA is the best solution for resolving the political turbulence, while saying he wasn’t worried about PAD’s plan to stage a protest if the CDA starts its meeting. He said PAD has the right to protest.

He said the government confirmed that there will be parliamentary mechanisms under the Constitution to prevent any interference in the work of the CDA . Setting up the CDA is aimed to benefit the nation, not prolonging the government’s stay in power. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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