Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Top administrative court rejects petition questioning appointment of senators

Jun 25. 2019
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By THE NATION

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THE SUPREME Administrative Court yesterday rejected a petition questioning the junta’s appointment of senators on grounds that this case goes beyond the court’s scope of authority.

The petition was similarly rejected at the lower Central Administrative Court in March.

A group of 34 people calling themselves Thai National Citizens had filed a petition with Central Administrative Court against the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha. 

The petition said that the NCPO-appointed senatorial selection committee led by Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan was unconstitutional as the panel members lacked political neutrality.

Neutral panel sought

The plaintiffs also called the court to annul the NCPO’s order, require the defendants to appoint politically neutral members to a new selection panel and seek a Constitutional Court ruling on whether appointment of senators is constitutional. 

The lower court ruled that the Constitution authorised the defendants to select the senators, adding that since the case was not of an administrative nature, it was beyond the court’s scope of authority. 

The plaintiffs then took their case to the Supreme Administrative Court in May.

The court ruled yesterday that since this case was not a dispute regarding state authorities’ malfeasance or misuse of power, it is outside the court’s jurisdiction. It also rejected the plaintiffs’ request for it to rule on whether the NCPO’s appointment of the senatorial selection committee was constitutional.

The court concluded that it agreed with the lower court’s rejection of the case.

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