ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation
By KASAMAKORN CHANWANPEN
THE NATIONAL Legislative Assembly (NLA) voted yesterday to create a new Election Commission (EC), which means that current members of the agency will have to vacate their posts once the law is promulgated.
The NLA voted 177 to one to pass the law in the third reading.
Somchai Srisuthiyakorn, one of the five election commissioners, said yesterday that the EC respected the assembly’s decision for the benefit of the country.
However, he said the EC reserved the right to scrutinise the revised version of the draft law to determine if it was in the spirit of the new Constitution.
Somchai said EC members would discuss with the agency’s legal advisers next Wednesday to decide whether they should oppose the NLA’s revised version of the bill.
The law on the election agency is one of four organic laws that need to be passed before the next election.
The new Constitution has reportedly set higher qualifications for the new EC members, leading to a debate for months on whether the new law should allow a mix of old and new EC members.
The NLA, as proposed by its law-vetting committee, decided otherwise. The current five members, however, would remain in office until the new EC commissioners are appointed, according to the stipulation in the draft bill.
The Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC) emphasised that the move did not necessarily mean other independent organisations would suffer the same fate.
Drafters Pakorn Nilpapna and Pattara Kampitak said that whether or not an organisation needed a reset depended largely on its role and responsibilities as well as international obligations.
After the second and third readings yesterday, it was still subject to review by the Constitutional Court, where the EC or others opposed to the law could raise objections.
The NLA meeting yesterday saw intense debate on whether or not the five current election commissioners could continue their terms, or should be removed.
The CDC, representatives from the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA), and the NLA’s committee vetting the organic law chaired by Tuang Antachai backed the removal of the current EC team.
They insisted that the organic law had been written in accordance with the Constitution to ensure the agency could fulfil its task in organising an election effectively. As the charter set out new rules for commissioners, the opponents said those who did not meet the new qualifications should be replaced.
Several members of the NLA along with representatives from the EC, namely its deputy secretary-general Jarungwit Phumma, voiced opposition, arguing that dismissal would be unfair to the commissioners who were qualified under the now-defunct 2007 charter.
They said that a law, when it has a negative effect on individuals, should not be retroactive. The commissioners should be spared and remain in office until their terms ended in 2020, which was only three years away. They also argued that the logic used for the EC might also have to apply to other agencies.
But Tuang insisted the move was in line with the new charter. He stressed that everything served the purpose of reforms.