Vice President of the National Legislative Assembly Mr Surachai Liangboonlertchai insisted Thursday that the bill to amend the Monastic Act was the initiative of a group of lawmakers and not initiated by the government.
He explained that the NLA would deliberate the bill in three readings in a row after the government made clear that it would not accept the bill for a review. He also defended that deliberation of a bill in three readings in a row had been done before and the practice was not abnormal.
The bill seeks to amend Section 7 of the Monastic Bill to empower the prime minister to nominate a high-ranking monk in the rank of racha khana to become the supreme patriarch and to propose the nomination to His Majesty the King for endorsement.
The move to amend the Monastic Act has provoked dissent among many monks, particularly the National Buddhism Protection Centre which has threatened a mass protest by monks.
Mr Surachai pleaded with all parties concerned to exercise restraint and not to protest against the bill.
He insisted that the bill would return the power to install a supreme patriarch to HM the King.
Tags: Monastic Bill, NLA vice president, initiative of lawmakers, three readings in a row
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)