CDC rethinks outsider PM and Senate

CDC rethinks outsider PM and Senate

File photo of the Senate chamber. Photo by Phrakrit Juntawong
File photo of the Senate chamber. Photo by Phrakrit Juntawong

The Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has decided to amend two major provisions in its draft charter regarding the appointment of a non-elected outside prime minister in the event of a political crisis and the composition of the Senate.

CDC spokesman Gen Lertrat Rattanawanit said on Wednesday the charter drafter agreed a non-elected candidate for premier must have the support of at least two-thirds of MPs.

The clause was added to Section 182 to open the way for a non-MP to become prime minister if the country faced a particular political crisis such as the one prior to the May 22 coup, Gen Lertrat said. He said the country could not find a way out of the political deadlock at that time and so the military coup followed. 

The drafters also changed Section 121 involving the election system for senators. They agreed to form the new Senate with 200 members selected from three categories of people. 

That would see 77 elected from the 77 provinces. Then 65 members would be selected from the ranks of former high-ranking state officials such as military leaders and permanent secretaries, legally registered professional organisations, and people's organisations such as labour unions and agricultural co-operatives. The organisations involved would select the senators.

The remaining 58 senators would be selected from respected experts from various areas such as education, public health and natural resources. 

Each senator would serve a six-year term. However, after the first three years, the 65 selected senators and 35 of the 58 experts would be forced to step down by the drawing of lots. Those unlucky in the draw are eligible to run in the senate elections, Gen Lertrat explained. 


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