Meechai confirms there is no substitution charter draft

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Constitution Drafting Committee chairman Meechai Ruchupan has brushed aside a widespread suggestion that the committee has a substitution charter draft under its sleeves which will be put into use once the current charter draft is rejected by the people in the referendum.

He said that he didn’t mean it when he earlier said that critics of the current charter draft would be shocked if they saw the substitution draft. He said that he merely wanted the people to study the charter draft before they cast their votes and the CDC didn’t want to get involved in drafting a substitution draft.

Mr Meechai declined to comment on a statement by Deputy Prime Minister Wisanu Krea-ngam that if the draft was rejected in the referendum the government would amend the draft and have it promulgated without another referendum.

He maintained that this was not the responsibility of the CDC but that of the government and the National Council for Peace and Order.

The CDC chairman indicated that it might be possible that Section 67 of the 2007 Constitution regarding community’s rights would be incorporated in the current draft following criticisms from civic groups. Also, he said the CDC would take into consideration resurrecting Section 190 of the 2007 charter and including it in the charter draft.

As for the single ballot for both constituency and party list elections, he said that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha approved the election method while the majority of the public also supported it as proven by opinion polls.