Organic bills proceed at high speed

Organic bills proceed at high speed

The parliamentary committee scrutinising amendment bills relating to organic laws will speed up the process to prevent any political stalemate.

Deputy Democrat Party leader Sathit Pitutecha said yesterday the scrutiny process of the bills must be completed before parliament reconvenes on May 22.

"These two bills are important tools to prevent a political vacuum in case there are not enough votes [for the government to pass key bills]," he said.

"These two laws are essential to organising polls in case a snap election is called, which is one of the political options open to the prime minister.

"So the tools must be ready for a political situation that might arise. If the tools aren't ready, we may face a stalemate.

"And if an executive decree has to be issued [to support the elections] it could be unacceptable," said Mr Sathit, who chairs the parliamentary committee examining the laws.

If the bills are not promulgated, a stalemate will ensue as the revised charter requires an election-system change from using one ballot to two ballots, and the organic laws are being amended to reflect the changes.

He said he believes the government will do its best to muster support for key draft laws, but no one can be sure a stalemate is avoidable.

He said the committee will increase its working hours to ensure the vetting process is completed before May 22.

The panel suspended meetings during the Songkran holiday and there are more public holidays in early May, he said. Mr Sathit said the planned no-confidence motion against the government will not affect the deliberation of the amendment bills, which must be completed within 180 days.

He said the committee is unlikely to consider the calculation and distribution of party-list seats this week.

He also said panel members will have to figure out a primary vote system that is practical and engages public participation.

Politicians are divided over the merits of a primary system.

Earlier, the scrutiny committee shot down a move to allow people whose election rights were revoked from setting up a party.

Twenty-four members rejected a proposal seeking to allow those banned from politics from forming political parties; 19 voted for it while two abstained.

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