Friday, December 06, 2019

Pheu Thai calls for probe into senators' selection

Jun 21. 2019
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By The Nation

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The opposition Pheu Thai Party on Friday pushed for a parliamentary investigation into the selection of senators, which they alleged to be unconstitutional.

Pheu Thai spokesperson Ladawan Wongsriwong said General Prayut Chan-o-cha and other leaders of the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) had failed to disclose the composition of the senators selection committee in the Royal Gazette. She added that such an act could be against the Constitution.

"If that is the case, it means the selection of senators was null and void," she said at her party's headquarters.

The opposition politician said the failure to disclose names of the selection committee members led to suspicions among the public and the media.

"It is the duty of the House of Representatives to find facts about this matter," Ladawan said, adding that a fact-finding committee should be set up and its findings must be reported to the House.

She said House Speaker Chuan Leekpai has no reasons to reject the seven-party opposition bloc's motion seeking an investigation into the senators selection.

"The motion does not aim at verifying qualifications of senators, but rather it's a scrutiny on the selection of senators, and on the exercising of power by General Prayut as the NCPO head and by other NCPO members," Ladawan said.

"This also refers to the senators selection committee. What they did lacked political neutrality. The investigation was meant to find out if their action was constitutional," she said.

The committee charged with selecting and nominating senators was reportedly composed of members of the junta and the Prayut government. Some of the committee members were appointed senators.

Pheu Thai deputy spokesman Chumsai Sriyapai said it was against the spirit of the Constitution for NCPO figures to sit in the selection committee. He said this was against the law and could affect the status of senators.

"All the votes made by the senators may be considered null and void, including their support for General Prayut to become prime minister," he said.

The deputy spokesman also said that a petition could be filed with the Constitutional Court for a verdict on this matter.

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