100,732 People Propose Amendment Bills To The Constitution

Parliament postpone the vote whether to accept it until the next session

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Chatwan Mongkol
Chatwan Mongkol
A freelance journalist based in Bangkok, Thailand covering Thai politics

THAILAND. Bangkok. Members of the Parliament (MP) voted on 24 Sept., to form a committee to study the constitution amendment bills, which was proposed by iLaw and was endorsed by 100,732 people, for a month.

The parliament voted 431-255 to form a committee with 45 members to study the bills before casting votes.

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The amendments to the constitution were proposed by iLaw, a human right non-profit organization. According to the 2017 military-drafted constitution, submitting an amendment to it requires 50,000 signatures. After going to most of the pro-democracy demonstrations across the country, iLaw was able to get 100,732 signatures within 43 days after its campaign started.

According to iLaw, this draft constitution aims to abolish immunity of the 2014 coup, military-appointed senate and its power to elect prime minister, the 20-year-long nation strategy, the parliament’s power to vote in non-MP prime minister, and non-elected local government officials. The draft also revises the constitution amending process, and member selection process of check-and-balance agencies.

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People marched on 21 Sept. 2 kilometers from Tao Poon MRT station to the parliament to submit the amendment bills.

People protested during and after the vote

During the parliamentary session on Sept. 24, hundreds of people gathered in front of the parliament to pressure the MPs to vote in their favor. As the parliament is located next to Chao Phraya River, people were also seen protesting from their boats holding placards and shouting their demands.

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After the MPs voted to put off the vote for another month, protesters yelled at representatives and senators who cast those votes as they left the parliament.

Protesters said that they will escalate their movement in October.

50,000 signatures have been verified

On 30 Sept., Sukit Atthopakorn, advisor to the Speaker of the House of Representatives said that the parliament is currently verifying those 100,732 signatures, which must be done within 45 days. He said over 50,000 has already been verified.

After the verification process by the parliament, those names have to be submitted to Provincial Administration Department to verify their voting rights, as well as to each individual to make sure that they endorsed the bills themselves.

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