Two decline to accept posts as Assembly members


BANGKOK, Aug 4 – Thailand’s 2nd Army region commander and the country’s Muslim spiritual leader have resigned from their assigned posts as members of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) which convenes this week.

Gen Thawatchai Samutsakorn, former 2nd Army Region commander and Chularatchamontri Aziz Phitakkumpon, the Muslim spiritual leader submitted, resignation letters to the Secretariat of the Senate Monday afternoon.

Preeda Chuapoodee, advisor to the Sheikhul Islam of Thailand, Mr Aziz’s representative, submitted the resignation letter, said although Mr Aziz is qualified, his current position as head of the Muslim religion in Thailand is not suitable for him to take up a political position as do leaders of some other religions.

The Chularatchamontri called for the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to gear up its work to reform the country in order to move forward one or two years before returning power to the people and holding an election. He asked all sides to cooperate in reducing conflict and building reconciliation, Mr Preeda added.

Gen Thawatchai also submitted a resignation letter but said it was due to his previous political roles, which disqualified him.

He said it is against the Provisional Constitution, which does not allow anyone who held a political position in the past three years to take the post.

Gen Thawatchai was earlier a candidate of the Chartpattana Party in a general election.

The NCPO announced the list of 200 members of the NLA last week.

The inaugural Assembly meeting is scheduled on Thursday before the first working session on Friday, when the NLA’s president and vice president will be selected.

Establishing the National Legislative Assembly is the second phase of the NCPO roadmap before the new cabinet is likely to be appointed in September.