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06BANGKOK5894 NEW CONSTITUTION DRAFTER BRIEFS AMBASSADOR

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“79543”,”9/25/2006 10:36″,”06BANGKOK5894″,

 

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,””,”null

Debra P Tous 09/27/2006 10:19:43 AM From DB/Inbox: Debra P Tous

 

Cable

Text:

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L BANGKOK 05894

 

SIPDIS

CXBKKSVR:

ACTION: POL

INFO: CHRON CONS DAO DATTLO DCM ECON JTF JUSMAG NAS

PA RMA SA RSO TSA AMB

 

DISSEMINATION: POL1

CHARGE: PROG

 

APPROVED: AMB:RLBOYCE

DRAFTED: POL:DRGREENBERG

CLEARED: DCM:AAARVIZU, POL:SMSUTTON

 

VZCZCBKI993

OO RUEHC RUEHZS RUEHBY RUEHWL RHEHNSC RUEKJCS

RHHMUNA

DE RUEHBK #5894/01 2681036

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 251036Z SEP 06

FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1879

INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 6080

RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON IMMEDIATE 1522

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE

RHHMUNA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE”,”C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 005894

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/25/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PHUM, KDEM, MOPS, ASEC, TH

SUBJECT: NEW CONSTITUTION DRAFTER BRIEFS AMBASSADOR

 

REF: BANGKOK 5747 (HAT YAI BOMBINGS)

 

Classified By: Ambassador Ralph L. Boyce, reason: 1.4 (d).

 

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) Constitution drafter Borwornsak Uwanno briefed the

Ambassador September 25 on the intentions of the Council for

Democratic Reform Under the Monarchy (CDRM), including:

 

– The issuance of an interim constitution, on/about October

1, that would restore protections for civil liberties and

provide for the CDRM to appoint a legislature and a civilian

Prime Minister and cabinet;

 

– The appointment of a civilian government in the first week

of October, although the CDRM would retain some powers

relating to security matters, in order to prevent a

counter-coup and deal with militant activities in southern

Thailand; and

 

– The establishment of a 100-person commission to draft a new

constitution, to be approved by the Thai citizenry in a

referendum within the coming year.

 

The Ambassador stressed the importance of the CDRM

transitioning fully to a civilian government within the

two-week deadline that it had previously announced. End

Summary.

 

KEY COMPONENTS OF CONSTITUTION

——————————

 

2. (C) Former Cabinet Secretary and highly respected legal

expert Borwornsak Uwanno called the Ambassador on September

25 to offer an unsolicited update on progress in creating the

interim constitution. Borwornsak claimed that the interim

constitution (which he was helping to draft) would be

reviewed at a September 25 meeting and finalized for issuance

within a week, likely on/about October 1. The interim

constitution would:

 

– establish a legislature of 250 persons appointed by the

leader of the CDRM (General Sonthi), which would scrutinize

bills but have no power for constitutional amendment;

 

– provide for the leader of the CDRM to nominate the Prime

Minister and the Council of Ministers (cabinet);

 

– provide all the protections of civil liberties that were

provided by the 1997 Constitution.

 

3. (C) Borwornsak also related that the interim constitution

would create a body composed of 3,000 persons from all walks

of life and all parts of Thailand to select 100 persons to

draft a new constitution. The 100-person commission would

have 180 days to complete its work, and the final product

would be subject to approval by a referendum.

 

COUNCIL TO CHANGE NAME, RETAIN SOME POWERS

——————————————

 

4. (C) Borwornsak also said that the reference to the

monarchy in the CDRM\’s name had led to confusion concerning

the King\’s role in the coup, and the CDRM would therefore

change its name to the National Security Council. The NSC

would retain two key powers: it would nominate the Prime

Minister and the Council of Ministers; and, with the consent

of the Prime Minister, it would retain \”emergency power\” to

deal with law and order issues, militant activity in southern

Thailand, and other threats to the state.

 

5. (C) The Ambassador, citing a September 21 conversation

with former Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun, mentioned the

civilian leadership would be further empowered if the CDRM

were to disband completely, and if the Prime Minister — not

the CDRM — had the power to appoint members of the interim

legislature. Borwornsak replied that the CDRM had to remain

in existence for two reasons: first, Thaksin\’s extraordinary

wealth and strong political network engendered reasonable and

strong fear of a counter-coup. Second, the CDRM was very

concerned with militant activity in southern Thailand and

wanted to retain control of the situation there. If

terrorism were to spread outside of the three southernmost

Muslim-majority provinces (Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat) —

as it had recently with bombings in the city of Hat Yai

(reftel) — the security forces wanted to be able to deal

with it without resorting to martial law. Borwornsak also

noted that the CDRM would change RTG policy on southern

Thailand so it was in li

ne with the recommendations of the National Reconciliation

Commission.

TIMELINE

——–

 

6. (C) The Ambassador asked about the CDRM\’s rollout

timeline. Borwornsak said the CDRM would:

 

– issue the interim constitution no later than October 1;

 

– appoint a civilian Prime Minister 3-4 days later; and

 

– form the new legislature sometime later in October.

 

7. (C) The Ambassador stressed that world attention was

focused on the two-week deadline that the CDRM had announced

for its transfer of power to civilians. Borwornsak said the

Ambassador\’s emphasis on this point was \”very sound,\” and he

urged the Ambassador to make this point directly to CDRM

members, including at the briefing for the diplomatic corps

late afternoon September 25. Borwornsak added that his

direct contacts with General Sonthi confirmed his sense that

the General and his cohorts were not seeking to prolong their

time in power.

 

COMMENT

——-

 

8. (C) It is good to hear assurances that the interim

constitution is near completion, and that the CDRM is close

to transitioning power to a civilian government. However, we

will reserve judgment until we see the constitution and the

membership of the new administration.

BOYCE

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Written by thaicables

July 13, 2011 at 5:58 am

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