PAD Coordinator Criticizes Politicians over Attempt to Amend Charter

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PAD coordinator and secretary of the New Politics Party, Suriyasai Katasila commented that senators and MPs who are supporters of a campaign to push for the six charter amendments were too quick to conclude that the source of the political crisis lies only with the constitution.

PAD coordinator and secretary general of the New Politics Party said a group of senators and MPs who are in support of six charter amendments may face expulsion.

He added that there are many factors that contribute to the political turmoil and that they are outside the realm of the constitution such as the moves by Thaksin supporters, disturbances to the monarchy and unethical conducts of some politicians.

He deems that the charter amendments will not benefit the general public and will possibly even worsen the divisiveness, adding that they will not lead to a reconciliation as expected.

Suriyasai said the six proposed amendments to the charter were written with the interests of some politicians in mind, and are not in the interest of the general public.

To illustrate his point, Suriyasai cited four proposals; the amendment to article 190 that will allow passage of bilateral agreements without the approval of Parliament; the amendment to article 265 that will allow MPs to hold political offices simultaneously; the amendment of article 266 that will allow MPs to influence the work of state officials and the amendment of article 237 that will lift the disbandment penalty in cases where executives of political parties are found guilty of violation of election laws. The latter change is seen to be a way to give amnesty to the 111 banned politicians.

He warned that the parliamentarians who are in support of the charter amendment might face charges on conflict of interest according to article 122 of the charter and they may be expelled.

Suriyasai said he personally does not oppose the charter amendment under any circumstances. However, he deems the six proposed amendments inappropriate, as they will benefit only some politicians and interest groups. He added that any amendment to the current charter must be processed through proper channels and must take suggestions from all sides into consideration.

TAN, 7 September 2009

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