Tough measure introduced in draft charter to prevent abuses of budget allocation in parliament

The Constitution Drafting Committee has agreed in principle with a new provision in the draft constitution which will subject members of the cabinet, senators or MPs to life ban against contesting elections if they are found to have abused their authority in shifting budgets for their political interests.

CDC spokesman Udom Rath-amarit said today that the new provision was intended to plug a legal loophole in the scrutinizing of budget bill by House or Senate budget scrutiny committees.

He explained that during the scrutinizing period, MPs or senators have the opportunities to shift budgets for projects that suit their interests instead of letting the budgets to be spent in accordance with the original projects in line with national development plan.

He said that the new provision represents a strong medicine to deal with abuses in the shifting of budgets by politicians.

The CDC spokesman said that normally there is a problem regarding the constitutionality of a bill which has passed the approval of the parliament. To tackle this problem, the drive charter will provide a five-day window during which MPs or senators can ask for a final check of the constitutionality of the bill before it is to be submitted to HM the King for endorsement by the prime minister.

Under the draft, senators have the right to demand a censure debate during which the prime minister or any minister will be allowed to make clarifications. The opposition leader will also be entitled to ask for a special parliamentary meeting in case there is a national crisis.

The next prime minister must by someone nominated by a political party before an election and the party must win at least five percent of the seats in the House. The prime minister must also gain the support of more than half of the votes in the House, said Mr Udom.