How a B2tn bill was shot down in court
published : 23 Jan 2020 at 04:01
newspaper section: News
In March 2014, the Constitutional Court ruled that a 2-trillion-baht loan bill sponsored by the Yingluck government was unconstitutional. The court had considered two issues: The conduct of a Pheu Thai MP in the voting process, and whether the loan was state money.
Narisorn Thongthiraj, then a Pheu Thai MP for Sakon Nakhon, was accused of voting on behalf of several colleagues by using their electronic MP cards. The loan bill passed its third House reading by a vote of 287-105 in September 2013.
Rangsima Rodrassami, a Democrat MP for Samut Songkhram, testified against Mr Narisorn in court where evidence also included a video clip.
Mr Narisorn admitted he was the man in the clip, but denied voting for others. He said he had reserve cards and sometimes used them during a vote.
Then-Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva told the court that MPs could cast their vote only once. He said a test had shown that when a genuine voting card was used, a reserve card would not work.
The court voted 6-2 that the legislative procedure for the bill had violated sections 122 and 126 of the 2007 constitution. It found evidence the Pheu Thai MP voted on behalf of other MPs.
On the content of the bill, the court voted unanimously 8-0 that the loan bill for infrastructure development projects violated provisions on fiscal and budget affairs in Chapter 8 of the charter.