Row over impeachment bill
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Row over impeachment bill

The National Municipal League of Thailand (NMLT) has called on the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to join in opposing a bill which, if passed, will make it possible to remove local leaders by impeachment.

The league president, Pongsak Yingchoncharoen, led NMLT delegates in a meeting yesterday with Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt in which they voiced concern over the bill set for deliberation in parliament, which allows for voters to initiate petitions to suspend holders of office in local administrative organisations, including Bangkok.

Mr Pongsak told Mr Chadchart the draft law was counterproductive to the BMA as it could disrupt the work of more than 5,000 tambon administrative organisations, some 2,000 municipal offices and 75 provincial administrative organisations nationwide.

He said the bill mandates that if 10% or more of the total eligible voters in each constituency sign then an investigation must be launched into any allegations of abuse of power or criminal wrongdoing.

After the probe is concluded, if it is found there are grounds to the charge, the case will be forwarded to either the provincial governor or interior minister to decide whether to proceed with impeachment, according to Mr Pongsak.

His delegation accused the bill of being designed to intimidate the winners of local elections.

It was reported Mr Chadchart asked for more time to study the details of the original proposal.

Meanwhile, Mr Pongsak, who is also mayor of Yala City Municipality, urged the government to reimburse local administrative organisations for lost revenue from land and building taxes slashed by 90% at the height of the pandemic to help people deal with economic hardship.

In total, he said, 38 billion baht in reduced tax over the past two years is owed to local administrators.

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