Parliament debates “Husband-and-Wife”clause

The joint sitting of the  House of Representatives and the Senate began debating the controversial constitutional amendments today, focusing on the makeup of the Senate.

Ruling Pheu Thai party MP Cherdchai Tantisirindra said that the constitutional amendment commission has earlier discussed Article 5 relating to the prohibition of close family members of incumbent MPs and political office holders, from contesting for a senatorial post following widespread criticism that it might become a“husband-and-wife” parliament.

All agreed that since many polls conducted on the issue drew strong opposition from respondents on such husband-and-wife parliament, they agreed to revise the article and return to the old version of the article that prohibits  close family members from the contest.

Democrat party MP Jurin Lasanavisit, also chairman of the opposition party coordination commission, said the opposition party agreed with the ban under the original charter which prohibits spouses of politicians, their children to contest for senatorial post.

Senate speaker Nikom Wairatpanich said that he also monitored public reaction and movement on the amendment charter related to the makeup and agreed that there was high possibility that the article would be revised to avoid being criticized as a “husband-and-wife” parliament.

But ruling Pheu Thai party spokesman Prompong Nopparit said that the party’s MPs were ready to clarify the need to amend the original version on the senate makeup.

At the same time Democrat MP Boonyod Suktinthai warned MPs and Senators that they might be impeached and banned from contesting in election for five years if they say Yes to the amendment of the original article today.