Charter court rejects challenge to legitimacy of the senator selection panel

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Thailand’s Constitutional Court has rejected the ombudsmen’s petition asking the court to rule on the legitimacy of the National Council for Peace and Order appointing a committee to select senators.

In the petition, the ombudsmen challenged the legitimacy of NCPO Order No 1/2562, pointing out that it might violate Section 812 of the Constitution because the order was not published in the Royal Gazette.

The ombudsmen also pointed out that one of the senator selection committee members was later found to be a sponsor of a political party that fielded candidates in the March 24th general election and whose MPs were involved in nominating a candidate in the election of the Prime Minister.

The ombudsmen further noted that six members of the selection committee are members of the NCPO, which was responsible for shortlisting and appointing 194 senators from the 400 candidates as well as appointing a list of 50 reservists for senatorial posts.

The ombudsmen argued that the junta’s role in the screening and appointing the senators amounted to a conflict of interest.

The Constitutional Court ruled, however, that Order No 1/2562 is legitimate because the order is not a regulation that is generally enforceable, but merely relates to appointing a committee to select senators.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai spokeswoman Mrs. Laddawan Wongsriwong said that the votes cast by senators in the election of the Prime Minister in parliament on June 5th might be null and void because the NCPO Order No 1/2562 has gone missing, adding that it was very strange that the order was not published in the Royal Gazette.

She suggested that House speaker Chuan Leekpai call an emergency meeting on June 12-13 to clear the air about the issue before the new government is formed.

The junta has been reluctant to give details about the selection committee, despite demands by several political parties. It has also refused to name the 50 reservists.


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