UTTARADIT, 30 March 2015 – The Second Vice-President of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) revealed that he will propose a constitutional amendment to allow for an outside prime minister in times of crisis to hold office for up to a year, provided that the measure receives a two-thirds vote in Parliament.
NLA 2nd Vice-President Peerasak Porchit spoke with reporters on the matter during his trip to gather public input in Uttaradit and Pichit provinces. He said that while he agrees the constitution should be flexible enough to allow for a non-Member of Parliament to assume the premiership to avoid political deadlock, the charter must ensure that the extreme measure is only used during an emergency.
Mr. Peerasak said that MPs must honor the pledge they have given to their constituents to elect a prime minister from the majority party. He reasoned that there would be public outcry if MPs chose a premier from outside Parliament without just cause.
The NLA Vice President added that the Senate should consist of both elected and appointed members. He claimed that a fully-appointed chamber would not hold legitimacy in the eyes of the public, while a fully-elected body would make the chamber susceptible to partisanship.
“We saw that the previous half-elected, half-appointed Senate functioned adequately during the political crisis before May 22. I therefore urge that this hybrid composition be preserved,” Mr. Peerasak said.
However, NLA 2nd Vice-President said the final verdict on these matters will ultimately fall to the Constitutional Drafting Committee combining input from the government, the NLA, the National Reform Council and the general public. He also agreed that a public referendum must be held in order to legitimize the new constitution.