By THE SUNDAY NATION
The CDC has maintained the controversial point concerning the replacement of provincial EC authorities with five to eight “electoral inspectors” who would perform duties during the election period, CDC chairman Meechai Ruchupan said.
The central EC would retain its authority in dispersing investigators into areas where electoral fraud has been reported, he added.
Regarding the disqualification of the current commissioners in the independent agencies, Meechai said that the NLA would have to look into the matter. However, he said the CDC insisted that only those qualified by the recently promulgated Constitution could maintain their positions.
Meechai admitted he was worried about the removal of disqualified commissioners from office. He said questions could arise if the commissioners were treated unequally.
“The National Human Rights Commission are willing to leave office if the charter disqualifies them. And if the NLA agrees with that, people could question whether other agencies should be reset to square one, too,” Meechai said.
He added that the EC would set an example for the rest of the independent agencies, its members being the first to face determination over whether they could remain in office or note.
The new charter set out new qualifications for commissioners of independent agencies. However, controversy arose as to whether the new rules should be imposed on the current commissioners or not.
Meanwhile, Jate Siratharanont, president of the NLA committee charged with considering the organic law, admitted that the committee members had not seen eye to eye regarding the election inspectors who would replace the current provincial EC offices.
The decision to maintain or remove the clauses concerning the inspectors and the provincial EC, however, had not yet been made, Jate said, adding the committee had to see the draft law to be submitted by the CDC first.
He said the NLA had the authority to revise the draft law so long as it did not violate the new charter.
Jate also backed the CDC’s draft bill for its inclusion of poll fraud-curbing mechanisms. He said that the measures should centre on the poll booths. If it could be controlled, fraud could be reduced, he said.