EC decides to strip Khon Kaen MP Nawath of his MP status

The Election Commission (EC) has ruled that Pheu Thai MP for Khon Kaen, Mr. Nawath Tohcharoensook, is no longer qualified to be an MP, after he was convicted and sent to jail by the Khon Kaen provincial court for masterminding the murder of a local official.

House Speaker Chuan Leekpai said today that he had been informed by the EC of its decision to disqualify Mr. Nawath, which will be submitted to the cabinet to proceed with the issuance of a Royal decree to hold a by-election in Constituency 7 of the north-eastern province of Khon Kaen.

He also said that the EC had ruled on the case, rather than forwarding it to the Constitutional Court.

The Pheu Thai party had earlier insisted that Mr. Nawath still retained his parliamentary status because the Khon Kaen provincial court’s verdict is subject to appeal. Others, however, contended that only the Constitutional Court can disqualify a member of parliament.

Mr Chuan added that he will help campaign for the Democrat candidate contesting by-election, because there is no law forbidding the House speaker from electoral campaigning, only that it must be done after office hours.

Regarding the debate on the budget bill for the 2020 fiscal year, scheduled for October 17-18, the House Speaker said that he would arrange a meeting with representatives of the government and the opposition to discuss the number of days for the debate.

He said he would like to provide an opportunity for both sides to debate fully and, therefore, the debate could be extended by another day, but not five days as demanded by the opposition.


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