Thai reform council rejects draft charter

Bangkok, Sep 6 (IANS) Thailand’s National Reform Council (NRC) on Sunday voted to reject a draft constitution.

The council voted 135:105, with seven abstentions, to reject the 124-page draft, reported Xinhua news agency.

A new constitution drafting committee will be set up to draft another charter within 180 days.

If the NRC votes down the draft charter, a referendum, originally scheduled for next January, could be delayed up to July 2016.

As a result, a general election might not be held until April 2017, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said.

The draft charter has drawn criticism over several controversial provisions, including stipulating the establishment of a strategic committee for reform and reconciliation.

The committee is empowered to take over from an elected government in crisis if the action is deemed necessary. The decisions and actions of the committee shall be deemed legitimate and final.

Clauses that allow an outsider or non-MP to become prime minister, and a largely appointed Senate have also been debated.

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