Reform council selection under attack

The second vice-president of the National Legislative Assembly on Sunday said the process to nominate candidates for a seat on the National Reform Council (NRC) in some provinces had been unfair.

Phirasak Porchit said he had received complaints that shortlisted candidates for the NRC in certain provinces had been lobbied by provincial governors. He said selection proceedings had not been carried out as required by the Election Commission (EC), despite the fact that many members of the public wanted to compete for NRC seats. 

For example, he said, the Tak governor instructed five members of a provincial selection panel to nominate one NRC candidate member each. But the Uttaradit governor had allowed a selection panel to send two candidates and failed to comply with some mandatory selection regulations. 

The former senator for Uttaradit said the same situation occurred in several other provinces and he wanted the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to know about the problem. If it continues, he said, an NRC provincial representative could end up being a provincial governor’s proxy and would prevent local communities from taking part in national reform efforts.

Dr Akkaradech Promgan, an NRC candidate in Nakhon Sawan, said he was concerned about the selection process in his hometown after he found out that each applicant had been allowed to write only four or five lines to present their vision along with the application form. He said this criteria did not match the requirements of someone who would represent people in the entire province and the applicant would not be able to show completely his or her reform vision, ASTV Manager reported.   

The NCPO will choose 250 people from candidate lists offered by the administrative panels established by the EC to receive applications for the NRC. 

Seventy-seven NRC members will come from the provinces and another 173 from 11 fields. These include politics, state administration, law and justice, education and the economy. Other fields include energy, public health, environment and the mass media.

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