Senate has no right to nominate PM: Court ruling

Senate has no right to nominate PM: Court ruling

The Constitutional Court has ruled that the appointed Senate will not be entitled to nominate candidates for prime minister in the first and second stages of selection, but is allowed to join MPs in waiving the lists of candidates proposed by political parties to make way for an outsider to be elected PM.

The court on Wednesday concluded its deliberation of the draft constitution after the Constitution Drafting Committee amended Section 272, which is a provisional clause of the draft, to accommodate the extra question approved along with it in the Aug 7 referendum. 

The court ordered the CDC to change a clause which stipulates that more than 50%, or 250 members, of the House of Representatives votes are required in proposing a motion to convene a joint House-Senate session to consider whether to waive the party candidate nomination rule, to be more than 50%, or 376, of the joint House-Senate votes.

According to the ruling, the 250 appointed senators were allowed to join MPs to waive the rule in a bid to unlock an impasse if a joint House-Senate session failed to select a prime minister in the first stage. However, in the second stage only MPs would have the right to nominate candidates for PM outside the political parties' lists.

The court also ordered that the five-year-term of the parliament begins from its first House-Senate session instead of after the MP elections.  

CDC chairman Meechai Ruchupan said the drafting panel was required to amend the draft in line with the court’s ruling within 15 days. After that, they could submit the final draft charter to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who woud forward it for royal endorsement, without the need to send it back to the court.

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