Thailand's National Reform Council votes down draft constitution

An opposition student pours water over a copy of the military-backed draft constitution during a protest against it in Bangkok. Thailand's NRC voted against the charter, and the NRC itself will be dissolved.
PHOTO: Reuters

The National Reform Council (NRC) on Sunday killed the draft of the country's 20th Constitution.

The unofficial counting saw 135 of 247 NRC members voted against while 105 supported the draft submitted by the Constitution Drafting Committee. Seven members abstained.

Most of those who voted down were military, police, and politicians. The NRC will be dissolved tonight.

The decision means there would be no referendum initially set for January next year and delay of the national election that would be held in September next year if the draft passes.

Now the draft was shot down, the National Council for Peace and Order will appoint new 21 charter drafters within 30 days to re-write the charter. The drafters will have 180 days to write the new draft.

The voting on the draft was conducted openly with each NRC member casting his or her vote verbally. No discussions or explanations regarding either the draft or the vote would be permitted.

To approve the draft, it requires simple majority or 124 votes out of the total 247 members. The official result of the NRC vote would be known about two hours.

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