Thailand government appoints committee to draft new constitution News
Thailand government appoints committee to draft new constitution

[JURIST] Thailand’s military government on Monday appointed a committee to write a new constitution after a previous draft was rejected last month. The committee, which consists of 21 members, will begin work on a new draft on Tuesday that must be finished in 180 days. The draft will then go to the legislature for approval before a national referendum is held. The first thing [AP report] for the committee to consider, according to legal expert and former Senate speaker Meechai Ruchupan, will be whether it should work to revise the rejected draft or to start from scratch. The earlier, poorly received draft was rejected [JURIST report] in September by the legislature by a vote of 135-105 with seven abstentions. The move is expected to delay elections planned for next year until at least 2017.

The military took control of the Thai government after a coup in May 2014, overthrowing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Martial law was instituted on May 20, two days before the coup [JURIST report] that ousted the former Thai government and installed General Prayuth Chan-ocha [BBC profile] as the country’s new prime minister. In May of this year Thailand’s military government announced [JURIST report] it would hold a referendum on a new constitution, delaying the general elections scheduled for mid-2016.