Opposition whip skeptical of Senate Speaker’s role

Opposition chief whip Jurin Laksanavisit today questioned the role of Senate Speaker Nikom Wiratpanich while Parliament was deliberating the “husband-and-wife” constitutional amendments and called such unfavorable behavior a double standard.

He said the speaker who  acted as president of the parliament ordered the ending of the debate of the “husband-and-wife” article after the ruling Pheu Thai party’s MPs proposed the session to be closed although the deliberation was still on.

Jurin said that a total of 53 MPs are on the list for rights to deliberate the articles. However after seven MPs have exercised their rights, the government MPs proposed the ending of the deliberation and the speaker agreed despite protest by the opposition that there were still  many on the list to debate.

Jurin said  that the role of the Senate speaker acting in this joint sitting of the Parliament indicated a double standard practice and violated the Constitution.

He said Mr Nikom did not  stay neutral while performing the president role indicating that there might have some conflict of interest behind such behavior in the speedy passage of the article.

He said that the opposition MPs would seek the removal of the Senate speaker from the positions of Senate speaker and vice president of Parliament for such undesirable behavior.

Under the removal process, the Democrat will gather enough MP signatures to sign in the petition and forward to the Senate speaker to pass on to the National Anti Corruption Commission for investigation. If investigation has grounds, then the NACC will return the petition to the Senate for approval who will  forward to the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Persons Holding Political Offices for ruling. Offender faces banning of political activities for five years.