Democrats to remove Senate speaker

The Democrats will ask the Constitution Court to stop the government’s on-going attempt to amend the Constitution and to remove Senate Speaker Nikhom Wairatpanich from the parliament.

Democrat MP and opposition chief whip Jurin Laksanavisit accused Mr Nikhom of violating parliamentary regulations for abruptly cutting short the debate on Article 5 of charter amendments bill on Wednesday night hence depriving the opposition MPs the right to debate on the issue.

Jurin said that there were still several Democrats who had yet to debate on the controversial article which, if endorsed by the parliament, would transform the new Senate into a “husband and wife” Upper House.

The Democrat said Mr Nikhom’s decision to cut short the heated debate went against the earlier ruling by Parliament president Somsak Kiatsuranond that the debate could not be cut short and all those lawmakers who reserved their right to speak on the matter should be allowed to do so.

Article 5 is about the makeup of the Senate whose 200 members will all be elected.  The proposed amendment will make it possible for spouses, parents and children of the MPs to contest senatorial elections.  Also, MPs who want to switch role to become senators will be able to contest the polls after their resignation from the House without the need to wait for five years as required by the Constitution.