Chuan calls special meeting Monday to try to save MP election billbackground-defaultbackground-default

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MONDAY, May 29, 2023
Chuan calls special meeting Monday to try to save MP election bill

Chuan calls special meeting Monday to try to save MP election bill

THURSDAY, August 11, 2022

Parliament President Chuan Leekpai called a special House-Senate meeting on Monday in a last-ditch attempt to save the MP election bill from lapsing.

Isara Sereewattanawutthi, an aide of House Speaker Chuan, said the Parliament president scheduled the special meeting on Monday so that the bill could be passed in the final readings within the 180-day deadline, which is August 15.

The organic law governing the election of MPs has been vetted by a special House-Senate committee and sent back to the joint House-Senate meeting on Wednesday for final readings.

However, the meeting collapsed due to a lack of quorum, a tactic used by the main opposition Pheu Thai Party to reportedly derail passage of the bill.

[Panel spokesman urges tripartite whips to reach an agreement on election bill]

Isara said if the bill fails to clear Parliament by Monday, the Election Commission's (EC) original version would be used. This version uses the figure of 100 to calculate party-list House seats. But the version vetted by the ad hoc panel uses the figure of 500 instead, the number of constituency MPs and party-list MPs.

Isara said Chuan was worried about the lack of quorum since Tuesday night because he did not want parliamentarians to be criticised for failing to carry out their duty.

The House speaker, Isara said, tried to call in all sides on Tuesday night to ensure that MPs and senators attend the key meeting on Wednesday in full force.

Although the charter allows the EC’s original version to be enacted in case the bill lapses, Chuan wanted parliamentarians “to do their best to try to serve the public”, so he called the meeting on Monday at 12.30pm, Isara said.

A formal invitation to the meeting was issued on Thursday afternoon in line with regulations that MPs and senators have to be informed three days in advance before a special meeting takes place, Isara added.