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Wan Muhamad Noor Matha Advocates for Triple Referenda in Thailand’s Constitutional Amendment Saga

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In the grand theatrical stage of Thai politics, a fascinating new act seems to be unfolding, one that involves the intricate dance of democracy, law, and the spirit of the Thai people. At the heart of this drama stands House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha, a distinguished figure who has recently voiced his support for a remarkable approach to steering the nation’s charter on a new course.

In a move that has all the makings of a political thriller, the recommendation for not one, not two, but three referenda to amend the entire Thai charter has been backed. This suggestion comes from a study panel chaired by the astute Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai, whose collective wisdom sees this trio of referenda as the golden key to unlocking the door to constitutional amendment without the looming shadow of legal voidance by the Constitutional Court.

Why the insistence on this trifecta of democratic exercises, you might wonder? Wan Noor Matha, with the poise of a seasoned politician, points to the past like a sage recalling an ancient prophecy. He invokes the specter of a court ruling on the issue of referendum, emphasizing the futility and time wastery of defying such judicial decrees. In his words, there’s a palpable determination to “do it right” – to honor the public’s desire for charter amendments while navigating the labyrinth of legalities with the grace of a legal ballet dancer.

But not all perspectives on this ambitious proposal shine with the same optimistic glow. Critics, their eyebrows raised in concern, question the prudence of organizing three referenda, each with a price tag of 3 billion baht. They argue that such undertakings would not only drain the national coffers but also entangle the country in a prolonged, perhaps Sisyphean, endeavor.

The House Speaker, however, is not one to be easily deterred by the winds of skepticism. When prodded about the potential inclusion of charter amendment proposals from the political corridors of the ruling Pheu Thai Party and the main opposition Move Forward Party, Wan Noor’s response is both measured and shrewd. The essence of his reply? It’s not a simple yes or no but a commitment to diligent study and adherence to the Constitutional Court’s guidelines on the matter.

And just when you thought this narrative couldn’t thicken any further, the Constitutional Court itself casts a long shadow over the proceedings. Rejecting a parliamentary petition for guidance on pre-referendum charter change and the requisite number of referenda, the court’s stance is clear: they’ve spoken on this matter, and it’s the parliament president’s prerogative to chart the way forward.

This unfolding saga of Thai constitutional amendment is more than a legal conundrum—it’s a testament to the enduring search for a balance between the will of the people, the mandates of governance, and the interpretations of law. As this narrative continues to evolve, it beckons us to watch closely, for within its twists and turns lie the heartbeats of a democracy at work, seeking the path to a charter that reflects the true spirit and aspirations of the Thai nation.


  1. TrueDemocracyFan April 19, 2024

    Three referenda seems like an excessive and costly approach. There’s a clear need for reform, but this method could exhaust public interest and funds. Why not consolidate this into a singular, comprehensive referendum?

    • SiamWatcher April 19, 2024

      It’s about ensuring clarity and avoiding legal pitfalls. A single referendum could be too broad and miss specific legal nuances needed to effect change without backlash. Plus, multiple referenda allow for more focused debate on each aspect of the charter.

      • EcoAnnie April 19, 2024

        But at what environmental and economic cost? Printing materials, mobilizing resources for three separate occasions—there’s a significant impact. There must be a balance between legal precision and resource allocation.

    • TrueDemocracyFan April 19, 2024

      Valid points. I hadn’t considered the legal complexities. It does make one wonder, however, if there could be a middle ground that respects the legal process but also considers public fatigue and resources.

  2. PoliticalJunkie101 April 19, 2024

    Wan Noor Matha’s idea might just work. It’s an innovative approach to bypass potential legal issues. Remember, revising a whole charter isn’t a simple task. Each section might require a different level of public agreement. Breaking it down could actually be more democratic.

  3. BangkokBarry April 19, 2024

    Anyone else think this is just a way to drag things out? Thai politics has a way of making things overly complex. I just hope these moves genuinely reflect the people’s will, not just political maneuvering.

    • NakhonNancy April 19, 2024

      Agreed, Barry. It feels like they’re overcomplicating things to keep the status quo. But, let’s give it a chance. The intention to follow through legal guidelines could be a step towards genuine reform, albeit a slow one.

  4. OptimistPrime April 20, 2024

    Here’s a thought – This could be a golden opportunity to engage the public in the democratic process. Three referenda mean three times the engagement. Maybe that’s what Thailand needs to spark widespread political participation.

    • CynicalSiam April 20, 2024

      Wishful thinking! Most people are already disillusioned with politics. This could further alienate them, especially if they don’t see immediate, tangible benefits from their participation.

      • YouthVoter April 20, 2024

        Not necessarily. As a young voter, I’m excited about the chance to be involved in shaping our constitution. It’s not every day you get to vote on something that fundamentally affects your country’s future.

  5. FiscalHawk April 20, 2024

    3 billion baht for each referendum is no small change! Amidst an economic recovery, these funds could be better allocated towards healthcare, education, or infrastructure. There’s a need for fiscal responsibility in how we approach political reforms.

  6. LegalEagle April 20, 2024

    The insistence on multiple referenda is a fascinating legal strategy. It suggests a careful navigation of the Constitutional Court’s previous stance and an emphasis on adhering to the letter of the law. This could set a precedent for how democratic processes are handled in legally complex scenarios.

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