There have been efforts to ensure that the charter referendum has an extra question. This question will aim to reduce the military’s regime quest to prolong its powers after the election.
With the draft charter complete, the military regime is now clear about any intent of extending their powers. Most Thais are of the opinion that the future is now. The National Council for Peace (NCPO) promised Thais that they would return to their happiness and enjoy democracy. NCPO seeks to institute a sound governance system similar to the existing one. In essence, Thais will have a Prayut-style regime. This may exist for years to come but an election will help legitimize the process.
The Political Parties
NCPO shall appoint a panel, which shall select the senate. The senate will be equal to half the parliament. The senate will be instrumental in answering the military leaders besides providing them with legislation similar to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA). There are many risks associated with the military’s intent to rule for a long period. There are many hopes that the August 7 referendum will see the draft charter voted through. General Prayut asserts that he has a substantial support base irrespective of the two main political parties having more party list voters. These political parties are the Democrats and Pheu Thai.
There is hope that if the draft charter does not receive adequate public vote, it will push the regime to undertake an election and have a semi-democracy. It seems like the NCPO has a secret way of winning the day. NCPO’s action of selecting a panel without the presence of professional groups did not go well with Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC). The military regime wanted to have a direct control over administrative functions and politics of the future more than drafters of the charter would allow. Some individuals were in support of the military power but not a permanent autocratic form of leadership.
The coup-appointed NLA seeks to attach the extra question on the charter referendum. This is an indication that the military regime seeks to register massive win in the referendum and stay in power. There has not been secret by the Senate to censure the government in addition to having the right to vote in a prime minister. Once the extra question has been approved, the CDC will be forced to revise its draft. Approval of the extra question will go against the democratic principles. There will be no democracy or fairness in letting senators vote to have a prime minister yet a number of people have handpicked them as opposed to MPs that have been voted to their positions by the electorates.
By default, through the extra vote, the Senate will have majority members. This way, the Senate will have much say compared to the MPs who will be relegated to the back seat in parliament. Courtesy of the extra question, the Democrats and Pheu Thai, which are political rivals, are in same accord to disapprove the same. This way, after the election, the NCPO will face major challenges as it seeks to have more powers after the election.