Section 44 still necessary to comfort people: Thai junta leader

The Thai junta leader has said that the notorious Section 44 of the Interim Charter, which gives the regime absolute power, is still necessary to comfort people.

Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Thai junta leader and Prime Minister, announced in his televised address on Wednesday, 10 August 2016, that the government will proceed with the roadmap to organise an election by the end of 2017 and foster political reconciliation in the country, BBC Thai reported.

The junta premier said that since the majority of people already voted in favour of the draft constitution and the proposal to let the unelected senate to jointly vote with the House of Representatives to select the future Prime Minister, everyone should accept the referendum result to move forward.

He added that the country is now peaceful and orderly and that people can enjoy rights and liberties as long as they respect the law and do not cause disturbances.  

However, there are still people with malicious intentions who are dissatisfied with peace and aim to harm the nation and the Thai monarchy. Therefore, the authorities still have to prevent these national threats, the junta leader announced.

“I guarantee that all state procedures will follow the law. Nonetheless, the authority of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) under Section 44 of the Interim Charter shall be retained for the people’s comfort for the time being,” said Gen Prayut.

He said that the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) will now take about three months to amend or add to the provisional chapter of the draft constitution in accordance to the referendum result before submitting it to the King for royal endorsement.

After the CDC finishes drafting four organic laws necessary for the election, which should be done in mid-2017, the Election Commission of Thailand shall proceed to organise the election by the end next year if the country is still peaceful, said the Premier.

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