Thai Charter Court to rule on constitutionality of charter amendments bill on Thursday

Thailand’s Constitutional Court is scheduled to deliver its ruling on the constitutionality of a charter amendments bill on Thursday, which seeks to amend Section 256 of the Constitution to allow for the setting up of an elected 200-member Constitution Drafting Assembly to rewrite the existing charter, with the exception of Chapter 1, about general provisions, and Chapter 2 about the monarchy.

The six opposition parties, led by the Pheu Thai party, have set up a war room to monitor the charter court’s deliberations closely, the written opinions of four former constitution experts and the court’s ultimate ruling.

Immediately after the ruling is delivered verbally, the opposition will hold a press conference about their next move.

The Pheu Thai party earlier announced that the opposition bloc will go ahead with amending the charter section by section, instead of the whole charter, in case the Constitutional Court rules against the bill, approved by government and opposition parties with support from some progressive senators and which has already passed its first and second readings in parliament.

The conservative wing of the Senate has made clear that the amendments bill, if ruled constitutional, will not pass its final reading in parliament, because the bill will need three-fifths of the votes of the House and the Senate combined.

Democrat party spokesman Ramet Rattanachaweng said today that, no matter the ruling by the charter court, the party will push for charter changes to achieve democracy.

A splinter faction of the anti-establishment Ratsadon group, UNME of Anarchy, posted on its Facebook page today, urging people to join a planned march this Saturday, from the Victory Monument to Government House in Bangkok, to demand a new Constitution and said they will camp in front of Government House for a prolonged protest.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)