Constitution amended at King’s request, changing royal powers

Thailand’s junta-appointed parliament has passed amendments to the constitution, after the newly crowned King Vajiralongkorn requested changes to the section on royal prerogatives.
On 13 January 2017, the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) approved an amendment to Article 2 of the junta’s 2014 interim charter. The changes were passed unanimously with 228 votes in favor and three abstentions.    
Before the amendment, Article 2 stated that when the King leaves the country, he will appoint an individual to be a regent responsible for the King’s task during his leave. The amendment allows the King to now leave the country without appointing a regent to rule in his stead.
Amendments also extended to Article 39/1 to allow the junta to amend the draft charter that will replace the interim charter upon ratification. 
The amendment states that if the King requests changes to the draft charter, the government shall amend the draft accordingly before resubmission to the King within 30 days.  
These changes allow Thailand’s military government and monarchy to amend a draft constitution already approved by national referendum in August last year.
The King’s request for the draft charter amendment came on 10 January, only two days after the junta head submitted the draft charter for royal endorsement. 
Royal regents have historically tended to be the head of the Privy Council, a role currently occupied by General Prem Tinsulanonda. 
All members of the NLA were appointed by the ruling junta


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