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CDC adjusts draft impeachment procedures

Jul 16. 2015
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By KANITTHA THEPKAJORN
THE NATIO

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THE CONSTITUTION Drafting Committee yesterday studied the section related to scrutiny of state power, and underlined the no-conflict-of-interest principle among politicians and state officials and also adjusted the number of votes needed for launching imp
The CDC agreed to wrap up the principle in one sentence under the proposed Article 248, saying politicians and state officials should not be allowed to act in their own interest or against public interest. 
CDC spokesman Pakorn Preeya-korn said at least a fourth of the total MPs or senators needed to vote if they wished to initiate impeachment proceedings against officials and no fewer than 20,000 signatures were required if the public wished to impeach a politician. 
The spokesman of the House of Representatives or the Senate will then submit the request to the National Anti-Corruption Comm-ission to proceed with examination of the evidence.
Pakorn said the justifications for impeachment proceedings were also addressed in the draft and included unusual wealth, malfeasance in duties, acts against authorities defined under organic laws, and violation of the code of ethics. For the last issue, Pakorn said, the NACC would have to set up an investigation panel to look into the claimed violation to ensure fairness. 
He said that the impeachment requires more than half of the total votes from the Senate and the House of Representatives. 
Only the Senate will have the authority to impeach a Senate-appointed official, and no less than a three-fifths vote is required for the individual to be impeached. 
The CDC also adjusted the proportions of the selection committee for the Election Commission, by cutting down the number of members from 11 to seven. The EC’s authority will also be removed from the draft charter and placed under a new organic law to be formulated later. This includes the Cabinet’s proposal concerning the EC’s justification and its power to call a new election. However, the CDC was unable to decide on whether it should allow the EC the authority to give red, yellow or orange cards to candidates.
CDC chairman Borwornsak Uwanno said the drafters expected to deliberate on the draft charter’s last chapter on reform and reconciliation today.
Alongkorn Ponlaboot, the whip of the National Reform Council, said the interim charter amendment had not yet been announced, so the NRC would still stick with its timeline. It expects to receive the draft charter from the CDC on July 23, after which it will consider its reform agendas, reports, and at least 22 laws concerning reform. On August 5, it is expected to report its master plan to the public and invite the Cabinet to acknowledge it. 
 
 
New provisions
THE AMENDMENTS of the 2014 interim charter will go into effect today after the bill was published in the Royal Gazette yesterday. The amendment will pave the way for a national referendum on the draft charter. 
Other revisions include allowing former politicians who had already served their political bans to join the Cabinet and other related agencies; extending the time frame of the Constitution Drafting Committee to revise the second draft of the new charter to 90 days; the provision calling for the dissolution of the National Reform Council after voting on the new charter to make way for a reform mobilisation committee; and the provision calling for a new CDC to be set up if it ceases duty for any reason.
 

 

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