By THE NATION
MANY MEMBERS of the Cabinet and the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) who aspire to become senators are expected to resign soon, as the junta chief readies senatorial appointments for royal endorsement by the end of the week.
The ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) will submit its list of 250 appointed senators by this Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said.
He said that aspiring senators would first need to quit their current posts in the government and the NCPO before the list can be submitted for royal endorsement.
Among the Cabinet members expected to be made senators are Deputy Prime Minister General Chatchai Sarikulya, Education Minis-ter Teerakiat Jareonsettasin, Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister ACM Prajin Juntong, Labour Minister Pol General Adul Sangsingkeo, Deputy Defence Minister General Chaichan Chang-mongkol and Natural Resources and Environment Minister General Surasak Karnjanarat.
Somchai Sawangkarn, secretary to the NLA whips, yesterday declined to estimate how many members of the Assembly would resign to become senators, only suggesting that they should give up their current posts before a new Parliament convenes. Speculation has it that many NLA members will tender their resignations today, when it convenes for the last time.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission (EC) is expected to announce results of the March 24 general election for constituency MPs today.
Results of party-list MPs are likely to be announced tomorrow, although an EC source said yesterday that the commission has not yet completed its legal action regarding complaints against several party candidates expecting to get elected, including Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit.
Thanathorn is accused of holding shares in a media company while applying to contest the election, which is prohibited by law.
The election commissioners are scheduled to meet at 10.30am today to finalise the list of elected constituency MPs and this afternoon they will hold a press conference to announce the official endorsement of at least 95 per cent of elected constituency MPs, as required by law, according to the source.
Court to review law
Also tomorrow, the Constitutional Court is scheduled to rule on whether Article 128 of the MP Election Act is in conflict with the Constitution. The clause involves the calculation of party-list MPs based on the number of votes obtained by political parties in the general election.
The court is expected to today obtain copies of the minutes of Constitution Drafting Assembly meetings regarding the clause in question. The case had been brought to court by Office of the Ombudsman.
In a related development, Deputy PM Wissanu said yesterday that the junta and the government would meet today to discuss the revocation of orders and announcements originally issued by the junta, but were no longer considered necessary. Some of these orders were issued as far back as 2014, he noted.
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, who is also NCPO chief, said that since the coronation ceremony is over and the government and the junta have not met for a long time, this was a good time to hold a discussion, Wissanu noted. They will consider the use of absolute power under Article 44 to abolish those announcements and orders, he added.
In fact, a junta meeting held on April 30 had already taken decisions on some issues, but Deputy PM Chatchai wanted the order related to fisheries to be revoked with some conditions. This order will be reconsidered today.