PM blasts squabbling over charter

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Prayut threatens to rip up draft constitution

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has warned the charter drafting process will be scrapped if arguments among the stakeholders continue.

Gen Prayut lashed out at critics of the draft charter who have made loud calls for a referendum, saying the draft is still in its initial stages and is not yet complete.

If arguments about the draft charter continue to heat up, Gen Prayut said he would have to think very carefully about how to proceed.

"We have two choices. We can reach agreement on the draft and submit it for royal endorsement, or we will have to throw the whole draft away and start the drafting process anew. Take your pick," the prime said.

According to the interim constitution, if the draft is rejected, a new Charter Drafting Commission (CDC) must be established to draft a new one, he said.

Some of the arguments around the draft charter include concerns about a proposal for an unelected prime minister, for senators to be appointed via indirect elections, and the alleged objective of weakening political parties.

Gen Prayut refused to say whether a national referendum would be held on the draft charter, saying it was too early to make a decision.

He said the draft constitution was in its infancy and he would decide whether the referendum should be organised when the time comes. "A national referendum may or may not take place.

It is up to me to decide after everything has been considered. The draft is not even finished and we are already arguing over a referendum," he said.

The political situation will be one of the factors to be considered if a referendum goes ahead, Gen Prayut said. He refused to say whether he had a back-up plan in case politicians and political groups reject the draft charter.

Bangkok Post
More here: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/politics/498324/pm-blasts-squabbling-over-charter