Constitutional Court deems amendment to Senate’s origin illegal

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BANGKOK, 20 November 2013 In a much-awaited ruling, the Constitutional Court has delivered a verdict saying the charter amendment bill concerning the make-up of the Senate is unconstitutional.

The court voted 6 to 3 to strike down the constitutional amendment bill passed by Parliament that would require all senators to be elected. The court ruled that the change would violate Section 68 of the 2007 Constitution.

According to the court, the amendment bill’s illegitimacy is also attributable to irregularities in the voting process of MPs and senators as well as discrepancies between the original bill draft and the one presented to Parliament.

Furthermore, on a vote of 5 to 4, the court viewed the amendment as an attempt to overthrow Thailand’s constitutional monarchy and to seize power. The court however did not hand a punishment that would lead to the dissolution of the six government coalition parties and the disqualification of MPs and senators who were involved in the passing of the bill.