NLA may have to declare assets

Members of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) may have to declare their assets if a post-coup practice in 2006 is any guide, according to an anti-corruption official.

Whether the new lawmakers will have to declare their assets to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) like cabinet members, MPs and senators do under normal circumstances has been a popular debate topic since last week.

NACC secretary general Sansern Poljiak said under the 1999 NAAC act, MPs, senators and cabinet members were required to do so.

But since the NLA is a special body set up to serve as parliament after a coup, the same rule does not necessarily apply.

In any case, the practice after the 2006 putsch could be followed, he said.

The 2006 interim charter required the then NLA to declare their assets within 30 days after they reported for duty.

Although the 2014 interim charter does not have the provision, Mr Sansern said the NACC might ask the NLA members to do the same.

The NACC will make the final decision on this at its meeting on Thursday.

Even though the disclosures are made to the NACC, they may not need to be publicised and the NAAC meeting will decide on this at its Aug 14 meeting as well, Mr Sansern said.

Another concern among the NLA members is the ban on shareholding of state enterprises which are concessionaires of the government.

MPs, senators and ministers may not do so under normal constitutions and some NLA members are concerned this would also be required of them.

"Let's see how the NAAC meeting will decide on this and whether it would waive this requirement. If there are so many contraints, no one will want to be NLA members," he said.

Wallop Tungkananurak, a former elected senator and NLA member in both 2006 and 2014, told Matichon Online on Tuesday it was necessary the NLA members declare their assets.

"Let's not discuss whether the law says so or not. The NLA members has entered politics and become public persons since they took office so full disclosure is a duty required of them. We debated a lot and blamed corruption as the major reason for our dysfunctional politics. This is a way to prevent it.

"It's absolutely vital, especially when the members were appointed by the NCPO [the National Council for Peace and Order]. How could we blame politicians when we skip this procedure ourselves?" the head of the Foundation for the Better Life of Children said.

Lt Gen Thirachai Nakvanich, Army Region 1 commander and NLA member, said all NLA members from the armed forces were ready to disclose assets since they had nothing to hide.

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