Prayut says charter mustn’t restart strife, Reconciliation can happen when political policies are transparent and truly benefit the people, » Mr Blair said.

703921Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has pledged to make the charter drafting an « inclusive process » to ensure the new constitution does not re-ignite social conflicts.

The new charter must be people-centred, fair, thorough, transparent and, most importantly, effective, Gen Prayut said in his weekly talk programme yesterday.

He said he has told the cabinet to find ways to contribute to the creation of the new charter.

The premier said he was looking to see how the general public can get involved in providing input for the charter writing, which will be carried out by the newly appointed Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC).

Gen Prayut said the people’s interests must be at the centre of the charter writing process. The constitution must not be turned into an instrument to fight each other in the future, he said.

While most problems in the country sprang from the interpretation of the laws and the constitution, it must be acknowledged that once a new charter is written, it will set new rules which everyone must abide by, the prime minister said.

« I wish not to see any arguments or conflicts arise over the content of the to-be-drafted constitution, » he said, adding opposing sides should put to rest any speculation about the contents of the new charter.

The charter rewrite will be based on the existing interim constitution, the National Reform Council’s framework, and public input, all of which are required to take no longer than 120 days.

The drafting committee is open to all suggestions, Gen Prayut said.

He insisted people who want to voice their opinions and ideas about national reforms and the constitution must do so through proper channels.

Gen Prayut also made it clear the government did not exclude any specific individual from taking a seat on the 36-member CDC.

However, he said some people had chosen not to do so because of the legal requirement that CDC members would be banned from holding political office for two years after the charter writing is complete.

However, the government and the drafting committee will try to get all sides involved in the drafting process as much as possible, the premier said.

On the subject of national reforms, Gen Prayut said the Internal Security Operations Command and the Office of the Defence Permanent Secretary will set up venues where people can convey their thoughts and suggestions, all of which will be forwarded to the Election Commission.

Gen Prayut also touched on his recent meeting with visiting former British prime minister Tony Blair who stressed that national reconciliation can happen when there is a strong sense of shared opportunity, rather than a sense of division.

Mr Blair also said that injustice may not be completely eradicated but a legal framework can be established that is deemed just and fair.

« Reconciliation can happen when political policies are transparent and truly benefit the people, » Mr Blair said.


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