Yingluck echoes Thaksin's scorn

JUST TWO DAYS after her brother voiced opposition to the charter, ex-PM Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday offered her concerns about the new charter draft.

In particular, her criticism targeted the draft's planned design for the National Strategic Reform and Reconciliation Committee (NSRRC).

She claimed it would have more power than the government and Parliament.

Posting on her Facebook page, Yingluck said having such a comittee to make a decision when the country encountered a crisis was unnecessary.

"A democratic charter links the people and allows the majority of people to make a decision. Having a selected group of people [to make a decision for the people] is not truly democracy,'' she said.

Last week during a trip to Finland, ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra called on democracy advocates to oppose the charter draft, saying if passed it would be the country's worst.

In a speech released on YouTube on Friday, he said that most Thais did not accept the charter draft and democracy enthusiasts should reject all undemocratic principles in it.

Meanwhile, a group of former Pheu Thai Party MPs, led by Samart Kaewmeechai, filed a complaint with Constitution Drafting Committee chairman Borwornsak Uwanno to amend the charter draft by ensuring sovereignty belonged to the people.

He said the party wanted changes in three areas - a non-elected PM, the eligibility of 200 senators, and depriving impeached politicians of their political rights for life.

Samart said his party rejected the provision, which he claimed allowed a "continuation of dictatorship" by having the Cabinet select 123 Senators and bestow a special power to the 23-member NSRRC members to resolve national crises.

"The charter writers likened this provision to preparing a fire brigade truck ready to put out fires. But I am afraid that an ill-intentioned group would set the fire so that the fire brigade truck was put to use,'' he said.

He questioned if these provisions were aimed at continuing the power of the junta. "The commission finally will turn into a dictatorial commission,'' Samart said.

Samart disagreed with the proposal to ask the public in a plebiscite about having a national government that consisted of the Pheu Thai Party and the Democrats, since the two parties had different ideologies.

"We have different policies and the government would not be stable. This national government also comes with strings attached - of having a non-elected PM,'' he said.

He questioned if the charter writers included these provisions so they would be rejected by political parties. That would mean the draft would not pass a public referendum and a new charter draft would need to be re-written.

The Pheu Thai Party wanted to launch campaigns to educate people about the charter, provided the National Council for Peace and Order allows it, Samart said.

The CDC held a secret meeting yesterday to review provisions that face heavy criticism, he said. The CDC has until Saturday to amend the charter draft before forwarding it to the National Reform Council for a vote.