NLA says new Senate composition overly complicated


BANGKOK, 5 May 2015 – The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has disagreed with the new system of appointing members of the Senate as it is overly complicated and confusing.

NLA Second Vice President Peerasak Porchit has revealed that most members are concerned with the proposed composition of the Senate as stipulated in the draft constitution. They’ve proposed that the ratio between provincial and appointed Senators be equal and that the provincial Senators be directly elected by their constituents instead of going through a selection process at the provincial level.

In regard to the provision allowing for the appointment of a non-MP Prime Minister, NLA members said they would agree to such an arrangement if the constitution clearly stated that this scenario be used only in times of political crisis.

Mr Peerasak added that NLA members currently hold differing opinions on the mixed member proportional system of electing Members of the House of Representatives. He said he personally feels the system is overly complicated and that the reduced number of constitutional MP’s from 400 to 250 would further distance the relationship between the House and the people. He said MP’s serve as a link between the people’s needs and the legislature, and therefore insisted that their numbers be increased in Parliament.

Furthermore, the vice president said the NLA unanimously agreed that a public referendum on the new constitution is necessary. However, the country should not resort to past charters in the event that the new constitution is voted down, as the previous charters have their flaws. In addition, he revealed that many NLA members have suggested the possibility of holding a referendum only on the more contentious provisions of the new constitution such as the system of electing representatives in Parliament.