5 EC names sent to King for approval
The names of five selected election commissioners have been submitted for royal endorsement, National Legislative Assembly (NLA) president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai said on Friday.
Previously, the Election Commission (EC) chose one of its members, Ittiporn Boonpracong, as the group's new chairman and the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) chairman deemed the selection legal.
But on July 26, law lecturer Jade Donavanik, an adviser to the CDC, warned that picking a chairman from among only the existing EC members could be in breach of the law.
He said the law states that the first chairman to be named since it was enacted can only be chosen after all seven election commissioners have been installed.
But two seats remain empty as the NLA voted on July 12 to endorse five nominees for the commission and rejected two candidates. The five are Santhat Siriananpaiboon, Mr Itthiporn, Thawatchai Therdpaothai, Chatchai Chanpraisri and Pakorn Mahannop.
The proposed appointments of Somchai Charnnarongkul and Pirasak Hinmuangkao were rejected due to insufficient votes by the NLA.
Mr Jade reasoned that the two commissioners who have yet to be picked also have the right to choose a chairman and it would be unfair to strip them of this by allowing the selection meeting to go ahead in their absence.
Supreme Court president Cheep Jullamon, in his capacity as chairman of the committee tasked with selecting the election commissioners, said the first meeting of the committee is set for next Wednesday. It will discuss the selection of the other two commissioners, which is estimated to take up to 60 days.
This committee has 90 days to get the job done, after which it must submit the names to the NLA for approval, he said.