January 11, 2017 – Thailand’s new king has asked the military government to amend clauses related to royal power in a draft constitution, according to the prime minister.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha told reporters today that the office of King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s private secretary had said the amendments were needed to articles pertaining to royal power.
“The changes will take up to three months to implement,” Chan-ocha said.
The prime minister did not detail which clauses were problematic.
The request by a monarch to change the constitution was unprecedented and a first in Thailand’s political history.
Chan-ocha said the changes would not affect the timeline back to democracy.
Thailand’s previous constitution was abolished after the junta seized power in a May 2014 coup against the elected government of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Although the junta has regularly expressed commitment to a “roadmap” for restoring democracy, the date for a general election has been pushed back every year since the putsch.
Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan insisted that the military government would stick to its plan to carry out a general election by the end of this year.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn recently ascended to the Thai throne following the October death of his father, the highly revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej.