Probe sought into senators' qualifications

Probe sought into senators' qualifications

Ruangkrai Leekitwattana, a former member of the dissolved Thai Raksa Chart Party, says he will on Tuesday petition the Election Commission (EC) to probe the eligibility of some senators and forward the case to the Constitutional Court to rule on the matter.

He alleged that some members of the upper chamber may be in breach of Section 184(1) of the constitution, which bars senators and MPs from holding positions in state agencies or serving as members or executives of local councils.

Mr Ruangkrai also said that the section also prohibits senators and MPs from serving as members of committees appointed by the executive branch. He cited a Constitutional Court ruling in 2008 which set a precedent on the matter.

Mr Ruangkrai said that senators who were former members of the now-defunct National Legislative Assembly (NLA) may also be in breach of Section 108 of the charter which bars state officials from becoming senators. He argued that the NLA members should be deemed to have been state officials during their time in office.

Mr Ruangkrai said that he had found that dozens of senators and MPs may still hold positions on the national strategic committee, the various committees on national reform, and also the Council of State.

Meanwhile, Democrat Party spokesman Ramet Rattanachaweng said on Monday that the party's legal team is expected to submit its defence in a case in which its MPs are accused of breaching the charter's rule on shareholdings in media firms to the Constitutional Court next month.

On June 26, the court accepted petitions against 32 of the 41 government MPs who are accused by the opposition of breaking the rule but did not suspend the MPs from their duties.

However, the court rejected petitions against nine others, saying the judges found no grounds for the accusations.

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