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Thai parliament votes with slight margin against red-shirt draft bill

11-25-2010 14:25 BJT

BANGKOK, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- Thai parliament on Thursday voted to reject a constitutional amendment draft sponsored by a key leader of the anti-government red-shirt movement.

Senate president Prasobsuk Boondech, who chaired the meeting, announced that the joint sitting of the House of Representatives and Senate voted 235 to 222 against the draft sponsored by Weng Tojirakarn, a leader of the red-shirt movement who has been detained since the military cracked down their street protests in May this year.

Abstentions amounted to 123.

Weng's version of the amendments, supported by the opposition Puea Thai Party, virtually sought to replace the current constitution with the previous 1997 charter, the most progressive supreme law Thailand had ever installed.

The ruling coalition of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva had earlier resolved to reject the draft, saying it could have the implication of pardoning former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his associates currently being banned from politics.

There will be three more constitutional amendment drafts awaiting a voting on Thursday on whether the bicameral parliament will accept it for further deliberation or not.

Any draft bill accepted in the first reading will have to sail through two more readings before becoming law.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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