NLA’s committee to explain delay of MP election bill enforcement

The National Legislative Assembly’s committee vetting the organic law on MP election will hold a press conference on Monday (Jan 22) to clarify the reason behind the reason of the majority members of the committee to delay the enforcement of the bill. 

The committee voted on Jan 19 to amend Section 2 of the MP election bill to make the bill become effective 90 day after the publication of the law in the Royal Gazette instead of becoming effective immediately as specified in the original version of the of the law submitted by the Constitution Drafting Commission.

The decision drew flak from political parties and political observers as the amendment could lead to the delay of the general elections set for this year-end.

However, the amended bill will have to be approved by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA).

Taweesak Suthakavatin, spokesman of the NLA’s committee scrutinizing the MP election bill, insisted that the committee’s decision by the majority members was not influenced by the junta or any individuals.

The bills for the election of MPs and the election of senators are scheduled to be debated in the NLA on Jan 25 and 26 respectively.

Mr Taweesak said that if the NLA endorsed the committee’s version of the MP election bill, the general election which was originally scheduled for November this year would have to be postponed to early next year.

Taweesak Suthakavatin, spokesman of the NLA’s committee scrutinizing the MP election bill

Former MPs of different parties, meanwhile, called on the NLA to reject the amended election bill, noting that the amended bill will paint the government in a negative light for not keeping its promise to hold the election within this year.

Nikorn Chamnong, of the Chartthaipattana party warned that delaying the election law enforcement by three months would go against the spirit of the Constitution and go against the wish of the people.

Pheu Thai core member Amnuay Klangpha said postponing the election would affect the prime minister’s credibility and would cause foreign investors and foreign governments to lose trust in the government.

Election commissioner Somchai Srisuttiyakorn said putting off the election would affect the political roadmap and the promise that the government had made with the international community to hold the election within this year.