May 31, 2023
BANGKOK – The Move Forward Party-led coalition government is expected to axe the 20-year National Strategy, seen by the pro-democracy camp as one of the legacies of the 2014 junta that usurped power.
Political observers believe the 20-year development strategies would not be spared after the Move Forward-led coalition takes power.
Move Forward had announced during election campaigns that it would rush to enact 45 pieces of law, including pushing for charter amendments.
One of the charter amendments is expected to be the termination of Article 65, which requires future governments to comply with the 20-year National Strategy drafted and enacted by the post-coup government.
Article 65 says: “The State should set out a national strategy as a goal for sustainable development of the country under the principle of good governance to be used as a framework for formulating consistent and integrated plans in a congruous force to achieve such goal.
The formulation, determination of goals, prescription of time for achieving such goals and contents that should be in the National Strategy shall be in accordance with the rules and procedures as provided by law. Such law shall also contain provisions relating to people’s participation and public consultation throughout every sector.
The National Strategy shall come into force upon its publication in the Government Gazette.”
In the middle of last year, the Pheu Thai and Bhumjaithai parties had unsuccessfully tried to terminate the article.
Then Bhumjaithai MP Supachai Jaisamut had argued that setting national development strategies 20 years in advance was too long a time period so the charter should be amended.
A non-governmental group on legal rights, iLaw, said the National Strategy was a tool devised by the coup leaders to retain power.
iLaw noted that the 250 senators appointed by the coup leaders could topple an elected government easily, claiming that it had failed to follow the National Strategy.
Observers said that since Move Forward has repeatedly termed the National Council for Peace and Order, the organisation created by the coup leaders, an obstacle to democracy. Article 65 is expected to be terminated once the party musters a majority in Parliament.