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Thai House passes Public Referendum Bill for charter amendment
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20:10, September 23, 2009

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Thailand's House of Representatives passed Wednesday the Public Referendum Bill as altered by a scrutiny committee, the Bangkok Post's website reported.

The bill passage is necessary since a public referendum may be needed for charter amendment process, which has been discussed by involved parties: the government, opposition MPs and the Senate.

After spending about two hours for deliberating the bill, the House voted 243-23 to pass it, while the legislation now goes to the Senate.

Prior to the referendum bill passage, the chief whips of the government, the opposition, and the Senate have agreed to six-point charter change, proposed by the parliament's Committee for Reconciliation, Political Reform and Constitutional Amendment.

"It is agreed that all parties must sign their names in support of the amendments," government chief whip Shinnavorn Boonyakiat said.

The chief whips of the government would discuss the charter change procedure with their respective members and will meet again on Thursday to prepare a final recommendation for the prime minister, said Shinnavorn.

The charter alteration procedure might involve with either establishing a new charter drafting assembly, or holding a referendum on the proposed six changes, he said.

Meanwhile, the ruling Democrat Party has called on all sides to play a constructive role in restoring the country's political image.

"The Democrat Party is now focusing on how the constitution will be amended," Democrat spokesman Buranat Samutharak said.

The party hopes that the opposition Puea Thai Party and the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship will agree on this, he said.

Source: Xinhua

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