Thai King seeks changes to draft constitution
10 Jan 2017 - 23:23
Bangkok: The new Thai king's office has requested changes to a draft constitution regarding his royal powers and the government has agreed to make them, the prime minister said yesterday.
Thailand's military-backed constitution is central to the junta's plan to hold a general election to return the country to democratic rule.
It was approved in a referendum last year and has been awaiting the endorsement of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who took the throne in December after the death of his father.
Thailand has a constitutional monarchy and public interventions in political affairs by a king are rare.
"The request said there are three to four issues that need fixing to ensure his royal powers," Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said.
"This issue has nothing to do with the rights and freedom of the people," he said, without revealing which clauses would be addressed.
According to a government document, the proposed changes would include removing the need for the king to appoint a regent when he travels overseas.
The process of changing the constitution will take up to three months because the government would first need to make changes to the current interim constitution before it can then change the draft constitution, Prayuth said.
But he said there was no change to the planned timeline for the election.