200 new lawmakers for endorsement

The list of names to make up the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) will likely be endorsed by His Majesty the King this week, according to Prayuth Chan-ocha, chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

The NLA, which will act as both the House of Representatives and the Senate during the transition, will convene in mid-August to select the prime minister, who will subsequently pick cabinet members.

Matichon Online also reported the NCPO had submitted a list of 200 names  to the palace, although the interim charter allows up to 220 members.

This was because the NCPO wanted to leave room to add competent people in the future, the report said.

Half of the 200 members on the list are high-ranking officers in the armed forces, from regional commanders to chiefs of staff, as well as retired officers with close ties to the NCPO.

Another large group on the list are academics, especially university rectors such as Somkid Lertpaitoon of Thammasat University and Wuttisak Lapcharoensap of Ramkhamhaeng University.

Meechai Ruchupan, former president of the post-coup NLA in 2006, and Borwornsak Uwanno, secretary general of the King Prajadhipok's Institute, are not on the list, according to the report.

The report speculated the NCPO might want Mr Borwornsak to chair the Constitution Drafting Committee.

After the NLA convenes in August, applications will be accepted for members of the National Reform Council (NRC).

A draft royal decree on the selection of NRC members was submitted for royal endorsement along with the NLA list.

The NRC will have no more than 250 members. The Election Commission will accept nominations from non-profit juristic-person organisations. They will then be selected by a similar method to appointed senators under the previous charter.

Provincial selection committees will propose five names of appropriate people in their provinces, to be shortlisted by the NCPO to one for each province. The other group of members are selected by the NCPO from experts and knowledgeable people in the 11 areas to be reformed, seven persons for each area. 

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