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Meechai dismisses criticism that new election system could favour pro-military party

Meechai dismisses criticism that new election system could favour pro-military party

MONDAY, November 27, 2017
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MEECHAI RUCHUPAN, head of the Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC), yesterday said that if politicians introduce policies favoured by the people, then they have a chance to be elected as members of the House of Representatives.
However, Meechai said he “had no knowledge about politics” and declined to comment on concerns over the new election system, which some politicians viewed as giving an advantage to a pro-military party. 
There is also concern that the current military regime has the authority to select the Senate, whose votes could count when a prime minister is selected.
Critics have voiced concern that flaws in the new election system could lead to the country having a non-elected premier.
Meechai said such speculation could be coming from politicians who believed their own parties would win only five to 10 MP seats.
Meechai’s dismissal came as the CDC was about to submit the last two organic bills for the House of Representatives and the Senate to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) for deliberation today. The two bills are the last required to be approved prior to the election now expected in late 2018. The first two bills to be passed govern the Election Commission and political parties. 
As crucial elements in the “road map to democracy” touted by the junta government, the organic laws have been highly anticipated.
Meechai said he expected a smooth passage for the legislation. The CDC and the 30-member NLA vetting committee had work closely together on them from the start, he said. 
However, he did not rule out disagreements, given that there were more than 200 legislators in the chamber, he added.
After both bills are promulgated, the much-anticipated election would also take shape as promised by the regime, he said, adding that key figures in government had often said the vote would depend largely on the completion of the organic laws.
The CDC, which has been in office since 2015 and was one of the so-called “five rivers of power” associated with the regime, will also be dissolved when the organic laws are finished.