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Questioning the future of military conscription policy

Parit" questions the future of the military conscription policy. After the interview, "Seththa" reflected on her changed stance. Confirmed that the abolition of compulsory military conscription is not contrary to the constitution. Pheu Thai has a mechanism to push for success even though the coalition parties do not all agree.

On September 17, 2023, Parit Watcharasinthu, Party list MP, Kaewklai Party, spoke about the future of the policy to cancel military conscription. Posted on the Facebook page 'Parit Wacharasindhu - Ice Cream - Parit Wacharasindhu' stated that the policy is to cancel compulsory military conscription. It is a policy that is important to both individual freedom and freedom. and the allocation of human resources of the overall economic structure.

In a live program with a news agency last Friday, Prime Minister Settha Thavisin gave an interview about military conscription saying: “About voluntary military conscription I never canceled. I don't understand what the word cancel means? Don't let it happen again? Don't let there be any more soldiers? And people who retire and die? Or will there be no military strength at all? I don't know. I don't know, right? But if Pheu Thai (us) is clear, I say it on every stage that it's a matter of “Voluntary military draft” gives brothers and sisters the freedom to choose their careers, right?”

Prit said If this statement were said by someone who agrees with conscription, He would not feel surprised at all. and instead felt that they had to do a better job of creating understanding about policy. 'Abolish compulsory military conscription' and persuade those who still don't agree to agree.

But when these words were spoken by the person who was the Prime Minister which frequently addresses the issue of military conscription before elections He felt disappointed - because in addition to the policy stance that seemed to have changed from what he had said before. But the interview reflects that the Prime Minister Perhaps the meaning of this problem and policy has not yet been adequately understood.

The Prime Minister said that he never told him to 'cancel' the military conscription, which is not true.

On this issue, he probably doesn't need to explain much. Because the people have shared words from a few months ago from the Prime Minister himself who spoke in a way that he agreed with the abolition of the military draft. Not counting messages on the Pheu Thai Party page that confirmed that “Amend the law to abolish military conscription”

The Prime Minister spoke as if 'Abolish conscription' is equivalent to 'no more soldiers' which is not true.

abolition of military conscription It is not equivalent to abolishing the army or not having one. But only by abolishing 'conscription' or 'forcing' people to become soldiers (when there is no war) so that the army is made up of soldiers who volunteer only. (When there is no war)

The Prime Minister used the term 'voluntary military conscription', which is a statement that contradicts itself.

This is not the first time that he has heard the Prime Minister use words like this. But he always wondered what he meant. This is because the word 'criteria' means 'compulsory' which is the opposite of the word 'voluntary' (if you compare it visually It's like saying a sentence such as 'I want to drink 'hot or cold tea' or I'd like to work 'fast or slow') – If anyone says that the Prime Minister is referring to the system that is open to people 'applying' for military service and 'conscripting' ' If the voluntary amount is not complete It probably isn't. Because the current system is like that already. Therefore, saying this does not mean having a policy that is different from what is currently in place.

(Plus) The Minister of Defense spoke in the House of Representatives. It is as if the abolition of compulsory military conscription might violate the constitution. which is not true

Article 50(5) of the Constitution states that 'everyone has the duty Military service as provided by law', which means any person (This includes all genders) will be 'conscripted' or 'forced' into military service. Only if there is law that clearly specifies such duties:

Currently, 'legal Thai men' are still forced to serve in the military because there is a Military Service Act of 1954 that specifies in Section 7 that 'men who have legal Thai nationality Everyone has a duty to serve in the military on their own, along with detailed conditions and various exceptions.

But on the other hand 'Legal Thai women' are not in a position to be forced into military service. This is because there is no law that specifies duties or allows for such enforcement.

Therefore, the 1954 Military Service Act was amended to abolish compulsory military service. 'Legal Thai men' allowed to serve in the military when there is no war. Therefore, it is something that can be done without violating the constitution.

Parit continued: He realizes that Cancellation of military conscription can be done in two ways:

Method 1 = Quit in a year-to-year fashion. (Through reducing the number of military personnel requested each year and increasing the number of voluntary personnel each year in the hope that the number of volunteers will be higher than the number of personnel required until no need to 'conscript' anyone in that year without amending the law)

Method 2 = Guaranteed breakup with no criteria. (Passing an amendment to the Military Service Act of 1954 to cut off the power of the military to compel people to become soldiers in times where there is no war)

He believes that the second method not only provides more clarity. It also increases pressure on the military to urgently improve the quality of life of its soldiers. But it is also a method that is likely to be in line with the policies of the Pheu Thai Party, which is written on the party website that supports 'Amend the law to abolish military conscription'

Although I understand the context of a coalition government that may require some policy compromises. Especially in terms of policies that require Cabinet resolutions (which require consensus from all parties in the government) or require a large budget that must be divided up according to the policies of each party, but the policy of 'abolishing compulsory military conscription' It is a policy that the Pheu Thai Party should not have to change its position even in the context of a coalition government. Because it is a policy that the Pheu Thai Party can move forward on its own. Without affecting the work of other coalition parties because:

The government does not need to propose laws to the House of Representatives as the Cabinet itself because the Progress Party has already submitted them to the House of Representatives and is only waiting for confirmation from the Prime Minister. (Which does not need to be a Cabinet resolution) in order for the draft to be considered in the House of Representatives. (Because it is a financial draft) – (but if the Pheu Thai Party has a significant difference with the Kao Klai Party's draft, it can allow Pheu Thai MPs to submit a supporting draft)

The Pheu Thai Party can vote to accept the principles of the draft law. Even though other coalition parties may not agree with everything. Because if the Pheu Thai Party and the Kao Klai Party approve it (which has approximately 290+ MPs together), the said bill will be able to receive the approval of more than half of the MPs in the floor accepting the principles (Agenda no. 1) If the Pheu Thai Party disagrees on some details Can propose amendments in the consideration of the committee and agenda 2

If the law is approved by the House of Representatives until it is brought into force. The Minister will have to continue to manage the consequences. is the Minister of Defense They are representatives from the Pheu Thai Party (Minister Suthin Klangsaeng), not from other coalition parties.

“I hope the Pheu Thai Party will be steadfast in moving ahead with the abolition of compulsory military conscription. Because if that's the case, people (especially the next generation of youth) will remember it all over the country. That we have jointly abolished compulsory military conscription successfully under the Prime Minister named Settha Thavisin,” Parit stated

Source: Thai News Agency

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