Southeast Asian Legal Research Guide: The Constitution & Legislation
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World News. Panarat Thepgumpanat , Patpicha Tanakasempipat.
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Thai king signs military-backed constitution | News | DW |
Thais approved the outline of the new constitution in a referendum last August but the palace requested changes in January after King Vajiralongkorn took over from his revered late father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who had ruled for more than seven decades. One change allows the king to travel abroad without appointing a regent.
The king has spent much of the past few years in Germany, where he has a son in school. Another change was the removal of a clause giving power to the constitutional court and other institutions in the event of an unforeseen crisis. Thursday was a public holiday to mark the establishment of the Chakri dynasty years ago. The current king is also known as King Rama X in the dynasty.
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Now relegated to the opposition, those anti-junta parties have made amending the Constitution their top priority. Future Forward finished a strong third in the March 24 poll running on a platform to unseat Prayuth, and afterward it joined forces with six other like-minded parties hoping to pull together enough lower house seats for a majority. But some post-election tweaking of the formula for allotting seats by the junta-appointed Election Commission made sure they fell short.
The opposition longs to see it replaced wholesale. But knowing their limits, Thanathorn said, the parties are focusing on amending just two articles for now — and The first gives the appointed Senate the power to join the elected lower house in the vote for premier.
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The second makes unassailable any order from Prayuth during his first term or from the government the military set up after the coup, the National Council for Peace and Order NCPO. Amending only two of articles may sound modest.
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Thanathorn said the opposition parties will submit a bill proposing the amendments by the end of September, or by the end of the year at the latest. He knows the odds are stacked against them. But even if they fail, he said, they hope the fight will bruise the ruling parties.
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