House passes police reform bill

House passes police reform bill

Parliament on Tuesday passed a national police bill after an intense debate on a clause that will see the implementation of the new promotion criteria delayed for 180 days after the law goes into effect.

The legislation was pushed through on its third reading in a joint sitting of MPs and senators, who voted 494-40 in favour with four abstentions.

It took the joint scrutiny committee one year and five months to examine the bill that passed its first reading on Feb 24 last year. The bill will now be forwarded to the cabinet for further action.

Before the vote, several MPs raised their objections to the 180-day window period in which the old criteria for promotions within the force will remain in use after the law takes effect.

Pol Gen Chatchawal Suksomjit, a senator and vice chairman of the scrutiny committee, insisted the clause was meant to avoid any disruptions to this year's considerations, which began in June.

"The annual reshuffle process has already begun so a provisional clause is necessary to make sure it is not affected and is in line with the existing regulations," he said.

He said the vetting committee had no hidden agenda in introducing the window period.

Democrat MP for Trang Sathit Wongnongtoey argued against this, saying some officers stand to benefit from it unfairly.

Move Forward Party MP Rangsiman Rome said it will allow officers who should not be eligible for a promotion to gain one, which would further erode public confidence in the force.

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