Prawit: ‘crisis panel’ aims to prevent coups

A “crisis panel” proposed in the draft constitution is meant to prevent another coup and is not “a state within a state” as alleged, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said Wednesday.

Commenting on mounting calls for the National Reform Council to reject the proposed charter, Gen Prawit said it would be up to National Reform Council to decide whether the crisis panel was acceptable or not when it votes Sept 6.

If NRC votes down the constitution, the government and National Council for Peace and Order will follow their road map for reforms under the interim constitution. The NRC, no matter how it votes, would be dissolved, Gen Prawit said.

Gen Prawit also rejected the suggestion that the proposed national strategic committee for reconciliation and reforms could become a “state within a state” in times of political crisis, arguing that the committee’s duties would not overlap with those of the executive branch.

“The committee will get involved only after the country is at a dead end. We don’t want a coup to take place again,” he said. “The panel will step in when the country is in such a crisis that use of the Internal Security Act and the executive decree for administration in an emergency situation cannot resolve it. The prime minister will chair the committee.”