ԴЪҸԻ (English)
May 2016 : Count Down to Referendum

  • Count down to referendum
  • Draft constitution clarified to political groups
  • Baht 22 billion pending budget transferred
  • 125 political violent victims to receive compensations
  • UPR recommended a review on dealt penalty
  • EU assessment on illegal fishing extended
  • NIDA poll: Thai happiness stable
  • NLA passed Nuclear Bill
  • EU Thai relationship to develop on election

    Count down to the referendum

    On 29th May, the Office of the Election Commission of Thailand (OECT) revealed its accomplishment of the referendum preparation; training of speakers, campaigners and polling personals. New polling staffs in 63 provinces will be appointed by June 15 while in the other 14, the current election commissioners will do the functions.

    Registration for absentee voting between 1-27 May totaled 8,083 voters and Bangkok came first with 1,235. Among all 3,954 have registered at the district offices and 4,129 on line.

    Draft constitution clarified to political groups

    On 19th May, the Office of the Election Commission held a meeting at the military club assembly hall to clarify the draft constitution with political groups; 50 political parties, the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), representatives from the cabinet, the Constitution Drafting Committee, the National Legislation Assembly and the National Reform Steering Assembly .

    Deputy prime minister Mr. Visanu Krua-ngam, remarked on the referendum outcome that there are three possibilities:
    1. If the draft constitution is accepted but the additional question unaccepted: the draft constitutional will be submitted for royal endorsement within 30 days. Four out of a total of ten organic laws will be enacted within 2 months. They are the Election Commission law, the political party law, and the election of the House of Representatives and the selection of the senate law. The general election to be held within 150 days.
    2. If both the draft constitution and the additional question are accepted, the constitution will be amended in conform and the Constitutional Court shall have a final say in this matter.
    3. If the draft constitution is rejected regardless to the acceptance or unacceptance of the additional question, the constitutional drafting process shall restart with an amendment of the interim constitution. It is anticipated that the new draft will be completed within 1-2 months since it will be an amendment of the current draft constitution.

    On 7 April 2016, the 167 members if National Legislation Assembly voted 152 and 15 abstained to add a tag question in the referendum ballot. The question is whether to authorize the parliament to vote for the prime minister, within the first 5 years after the constitution promulgation. By this meaning, 250 senate members will be authorized to vote similarly to the 500 MPs. The senate was unauthorized to vote for the prime minister in the 1997 and 2007 constitutions.

    Baht 22 billion pending budget transferred

    On 26th May, the National Legislative Assembly passed a bill, after three succeeding voting, on the transfer of the pending 2016 fiscal budget, totaled baht 22,106,555,000 to the central budget baht 21,885,555,000 and other agencies baht 21,000,000. The budget came from 25 public agencies that failed to use the budget as planned.

    125 political violence victims compensate

    On 26th May, the Social Development and Human Security Ministry disclosed the first 125 political violence victims entitled for compensation. Out of a total 820 registered 403 have been approved and this 125 is the first to receive. They are divided into 46 fatal, 23 disable, 97 seriously injured, 251 injured and 403 minor injured. Compensation varies from baht 400,000 for the deceased, 200,000 for being disabled, 100,000 for seriously injured, 60,000 for injuries and 20,000 for minor injuries. Those who register and not notified should call 02659 6536 or 1300 or www.dsdw.go.th for more information.

    Eligible persons disagree should appeal to the sub-committee within 30 days after being notified. Unsettlement could re-appeal to the committee within 30 days otherwise the decisions will be final.

    UPR recommended a review on death penalty

    On 23rd May, the Human Rights Commission issued a statement on death penalty that ruling is currently changed from penalty to rectify and improve the criminals; therefore, legal review should be made if the society agrees that to end crime is not to end life. However, the statement elaborated revocation of death penalty could take time and revision of several factors; law and justice procedurals, administration and correction system.

    Previously, on May 11 the Thai representative attended a meeting with the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) working group in Geneva Switzerland. The member states recommended Thailand should revise its law on death penalty.

    EU assessment on illegal fishing extended

    On 23rd May, Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Pravit Wongsuwan disclosed he has been informal informed the European Union (EU) will extend its assessment on Thailand illegal fishing for 6 months. Thailand has been placed under a yellow card for abuses of fish stocks and labor rights abuse. This illegal fishing was a long accumulated problem.

    NIDA poll: Thai happiness stable

    On 22nd May, NIDA poll revealed its study conducted on 17-18 May from 1,250 samplings on their happiness after two years the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) came to power. While the majority 43.28% said their happiness is stable, 37.68% said their happiness increased due to the NCPO has restored peace and order, suppressed political conflict and strictly enforce all laws. However, 18.24% said their happiness declined from economic slump, increase cost of living, income deficiency and agricultural products prices deceased.

    Nuclear Energy for Peace Bill enacted

    On 19th May, the National Legislative Assembly voted 144 to 1 and 5 abstentions to pass the Nuclear Energy for Peace Bill. The Bill has 152 articles intended to regulate and control firms that use the radioactive material and is complying with international regulations on nuclear energy standards. There will be a committee, chairs by the prime minister, to regulate any operation that concern nuclear and radioactive material.

    EU-Thailand relation to develop on election

    On 17-19 May, delegations of the European Parliament from the Delegation for relations with the countries of Southeast Asia and ASEAN (DASE) and the subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), led by DASE chairman Mr. Werner Langen made a visit to Thailand. They had met with Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Legislative Assembly, the Constitution Drafting Committee, the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and top-rank ministerial representatives and also Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva and Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra.

    On 18th the Chairman remarked their mission focusd on Thailand upcoming referendum and its road map to democracy. Every stakeholder should be able to express their view regarding to freedom of expression is a key factor in human rights. The future of EU-Thailand relation depends on the free and fair elections.
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