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Unhinged Democracy: Thailand’s Push for Reform May Uproot Nation’s Soul! Here’s the Shocking Cost of Constitutional Overhaul.

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The highly esteemed political figure opined that Thailand necessitates a reformed constitution one that is steeped in deep democratic values. He assured, however, that the initial two chapters of the existing constitution that illuminate the kingdom’s sovereignty and the monarchy will remain untouched.

“We are committed to delivering on our promise to create a democratic constitution. The new constitution will not impinge upon the first and second chapters,” Phumtham, the one occupying the saddle of deputy leader of the coalition pillar, the Pheu Thai Party, affirmed.

The proposed modifications are particularly unnerving for conservatives, sparking concerns that the initial chapters on the kingdom’s unity and monarchy might be reworded, opening floodgates to upheaval concerning the country’s stature as an integral kingdom and a constitutional monarchy.

Wearing his commerce minister hat, Phumtham stated that the drafted constitution is anticipated to offer fortified safeguards to human rights and freedoms, simultaneously smoothing the path for administrative operations.

He further elaborated that a fresh committee comprised of representatives from a diverse net of societal groups will be assembled to strike a “balanced point” in scripting the new constitution.

“Our goal is to methodically thresh out differing standpoints until we arrive at mutual consensus. We must restrain from doggedly adhering to the current constitution that hinders any amendments,” Phumtham articulated.

The incumbent deputy PM ensured the representation of legal experts from across the political spectrum in the newly instituted panel.

As conveyed by Phumtham, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has heralded the expedited formulation of the committee to augment participation from all quarters. For the germination of a new constitution, the preceding constitution needs to undergo amendments.

Phumtham recollected how over the course of the previous House of Representatives’ four-year tenure, eight amendment bills were proposed, only to fizzle out in Parliament. As deemed by the Constitutional Court, voters need to voice their stand in a national referendum to decide if the current Constitution should be amended for the inscription of a new charter.

Phumtham calculated that not less than four referendums might be necessitated for a fresh constitution, leading to a staggering expenditure of an estimated 20 billion baht.

The 2017 Constitution, scribed under the backdrop of the post-coup junta, deliberately makes the amendment process admittedly tough. To amend a clause, multifarious levels of support are sought, from junta-appointed senators to the ruling coalition, and lastly, from political parties outside the government.

Amendment supporters have to rally backing from at least 20% of the lower House, equating to 100 MPs, to initiate an amendment motion. The proposed amendment, in turn, needs validation from more than half of the Parliament members from both Houses, minimum 376 votes, to surpass the first hurdle. This tally has to comprise at least 33.6% of all 250 senators, or a minimum of 84 votes.

For the second reading, a clear majority (amounting to at least 376 votes) from both Houses (a sumtotal of 500 MPs and 250 senators) is warranted. Finally, the climactic third reading has to draw majority support that includes a minimum of 84 senators and at least one-fifth of all MPs from political parties not mirrored in the Cabinet or presiding over the positions of House Speaker or deputy speaker.

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