Junta gets expanse of powers in document
BANGKOK — Thailand's new temporary constitution that gives the military government sweeping powers in the run-up to a planned October 2015 election also allows the leader of the current ruling junta to become interim prime minister, a senior army official said Wednesday.
The document adopted Tuesday is the first step toward restoring electoral democracy in Thailand, two months after the army took power in a coup, but the junta will continue to hold substantial power even after an interim cabinet and legislature take office in September.
Although the interim charter is supposed to pave the way for civilian rule, it gives the junta — officially called the National Council for Peace and Order — what amounts to supreme power over political developments. It also legalizes all actions the junta has taken since the coup, as well as the takeover itself.
The members of the National Legislative Assembly will be appointed by the junta, and in turn will nominate a prime minister. The prime minister will then pick a Cabinet, which must be confirmed by the assembly.
The 48-article charter also lays out the process by which a permanent constitution will be drafted and adopted.
While the charter gives the military rulers almost supreme authority over politics, Wissanu Krea-ngam, a legal adviser to the junta, said Wednesday that the military would handle only peacekeeping and security matters, even though the interim constitution clearly gives it the final word on all important issues.
Analysts have raised concerns about the enormous power granted to the junta chief.
“This gives the power for the NCPO to commit any actions that might contradict or even go beyond the power given under this constitution,” said Ekachai Chainuvati, a law lecturer at Bangkok's Siam University. “It states explicitly that he can perform any actions, such as reshuffling civil servants, drafting any laws or even punishing people judicially.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Migrant surge: Europe ill-prepared for invasion of foreigners
- Americans, Briton who thwarted attack get France’s top honor
- Polish official ‘convinced’ Nazi mystery train exists
- Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands declared disaster area
- 2 U.S. troops slain in attack on military base; Taliban takes district
- 5 killed in western India as demonstrators riot
- South Sudan President Kiir signs peace deal with rebels
- Suspect in 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia arrested
- Iraqi army loses 2 generals in suicide bombing
- Suicide bomber kills wife, 2 kids in Pakistan police raid
- 11 officials, executives detained in China port blast