Thai PM expresses determination to amend Constitution

Thailand's new prime minister, Srettha Thavisin, has outlined his government's policy priorities. In his first parliamentary speech, Srettha expressed his determination to amend the country's Constitution implemented under the military-backed government.

"The government will engage in discussions to emphasize the importance of involving citizens from all regions in designing a modern and mutually acceptable democratic constitution," he said.

Srettha stressed the importance of holding a referendum on constitutional revision. But he didn't give a specific time frame. The current Constitution stipulates upper house lawmakers are picked by the military.

Srettha also said his administration will drop mandatory military conscription and cut the number of high-ranking armed forces personnel.

Srettha described Thai economy as "sick" from COVID-19 pandemic. He said the government plans some stimulus policies, including a handout of 10,000 baht, or about 280 dollars, through digital wallets.

On the international front, Srettha didn't directly mention Myanmar, where fierce fighting resulting in civilian casualties continue after military coup two years ago.

Srettha is from the Pheu Thai Party, which came second in the May election, after the pro-democratic Move Forward Party. Pheu Thai formed a coalition with pro-military parties, but without Move Forward.
That calculated political move has stirred criticism from the public.