Parliament's law scrutiny committee has decided to once again allow the spouses of MPs to sit as senators simultaneously.
The committee, which is scrutinising a clause in the charter on the recruitment of senators, decided to do away with the prohibition in Section 115.
The section prohibits anyone from vying for a Senate seat or becoming a senator if they are spouses, parents or children of sitting MPs or cabinet ministers.
Most committee members voted to drop the restriction, or "spouse parliament", which has been banned since the current charter was promulgated in 1997.
Critics say that bringing it back would undermine checks and balances in government. A minority of committee members criticised the decision. They said it could allow MPs to dominate the Senate.
The committee also voted to delete paragraph (9) in Section 115, which also pertains to the qualifications of Senate candidates.
It bars anyone from applying for a Senate seat if they were once a cabinet minister or a political post holder and gave up their seat less than five years previously.
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- Writer: Mongkol Bangprapa