Charter Court drafting ruling about writing of new charter and required referendum

Constitutional Court judges are huddled in an urgent meeting today to discuss the drafting of a common judgment, announced by the court on March 11th, which, in essence, rules that parliament can write a new Constitution, but that a referendum must be held first to seek the consent of the people.

On March 11th, the court made a short statement about the ruling without giving any details, leaving questions over when the referendum is to be held or whether parliament proceed with voting on the third reading of the constitutional amendments bill, which is due to take place when parliament reconvenes this Wednesday.

The court’s ruling was by an eight to one majority.

An informed court source says that the Constitutional Court will use the opinions of the eight individual judges as the basis for the writing of a common ruling, which the legislators are hoping will clarify unanswered questions.

The source said that the written ruling by the court is expected to be released within a day or two.

Senate Speaker Pornpetch Wichitcholchai said today that the Senate whips will discuss how to proceed with the constitutional amendments bill, which is pending its third reading due to opposing opinions of both MPs and senators.

He said he does not want to offer his own opinion, adding that the matter must be discussed in parliament while a written ruling from the Constitutional Court is yet to be released.

Meanwhile, Parliament President Chuan Leekpai has called a meeting of the House and Senate whips on Tuesday to discuss the contentious issue of how to proceed with the third reading of the constitutional amendments bill.

 

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)