Thanathorn may attend parliament opening and 1st House meeting

Embattled Future Forward party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit can attend the formal opening of parliament today, presided over by His Majesty the King in the conference hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Secretary-general of the House of Representatives, Mr. Sorasak Pienwech, said that his office has yet to receive a formal order from the Constitutional Court temporarily suspending Thanathorn’s parliamentary membership so, for now, the he is still a member of parliament and is permitted to attend the event today.

The Constitutional Court voted 8:1 on Thursday to suspend Thanathorn’s parliamentary membership after it unanimously voted to accept the Election Commission’s media share ownership case against the Future Forward party leader.

As for the meeting of MPs tomorrow, in the conference hall of TOT Company on Chaengwattana road, he said Thanathorn can attend because he has not yet taken an oath as constitutionally mandated.

After the oath-taking ceremony, however, he will have to stop performing his duties as an MP and will have to leave the meeting, said Mr. Sorasak.

After the formal opening of parliament, all 250 senators will head to the TOT Company’s building, the temporary office of the parliament, for the Senate’s first meeting to elect the Senate speaker and two deputy speakers.

Informed sources said that Mr. Pornpektch Wichitcholachai, former president of the junta-appointed National Legislative Assembly, will be nominated as the only candidate and he is likely to be elected the Senate speaker because of his close connection with the junta, especially Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

There are two candidates for the post of the first deputy speaker of the Senate, namely General Akkanit Moensawat and General Singsoek Singprai, both classmates of General Prayut at the Chulachomklao Royal Academy.

The sources said that, as a compromise solution, the two candidates may alternate posts for two and a half years each.  The term of the Senate is five years.

The post of the second deputy Senate speaker is likely to fall to former election commissioner Mr. Supachai Somcharoen.


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