Thai politics

Bloomberg on Pheu Thai’s Proposal to Rewrite Constitution

Bloomberg reports today:

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s party will propose overhauling a constitution written after a 2006 coup that ousted her brother, a move that threatens to reignite political discord.

The Pheu Thai party will present a plan to parliament tomorrow to create a Constitution Drafting Assembly comprising 99 people that has 180 days to draw up a new constitution, spokesman Prompong Nopparit said by phone today. A nationwide referendum will be held after it’s completed, he said by phone.

“The Pheu Thai party sees that the 2007 constitution is not democratic,” Prompong said. “It weakens political parties, weakens politicians and limits the freedom of people. The constitution should be drafted by people for people.”

Moving to rewrite the constitution is Yingluck’s biggest challenge to a military establishment that six years ago overthrew former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra since she took power in August. Moves by Thaksin’s allies in 2008 to change the constitution sparked violent street protests by his yellow-shirted opponents that shut down parts of Bangkok and culminated in the seizure of the city’s airports.

“The government thinks it is confident enough to make a move that will certainly upset the military and anti-Thaksin forces,” said Michael Montesano, a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. “I’d be very surprised if the Yellow Shirts can bring out the numbers they were able to bring out several years ago.”

Worth a read.

(All emphasis mine.)

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