Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Referendum BEFORE or AFTER charter vote?

What comes first: A referendum before voting on the 3rd reading of the constitutional amendment -- or after?
First, some Pheu Thai MPs were pushing for an immediate voting on the third reading so that the proposed changes to the constitution could proceed promptly. Then came strong opposition from various quarters warning of another round of confrontation if Thaksin pushes for immediate changes to the charter.
Yesterday, Premier Yingluck admitted she had consulted her elder brother and that he had given her advice on the matter. She didn't say what advice was given.
But it was almost a concidence that Thaksin, speaking at a function at Hong Kong's Asia Society, said his sister would amend the constituion by first holding a referendum.
On the same day, Yingluck confirmed that she supported a referendem on constitutional amendments before pressing ahead with a vote on the third reading of the charter rewrite bill.
Nothing is certain, of course, judging from recent history. Thaksin could change his mind yet once again, depending on how he evaluates his own political strength at the moment.
An opponent said yesterday that Thaksin wanted to come home as soon as possible without much regard for political stability of Yingluck government while the premier herself is more concerned about not pressing ahead with any political move that could undermine her government's longevity.
Nobody is suggesting that Brother and Sister have broken up. It's only that they don't necessarily have to agree on where their respective political priorities lie at any specific time.

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