Meechai pushes court review of two bills

Meechai Ruchupan (left), chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee, and Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, president of the National Legislative Assembly, now hold the key to whether the general election will be delayed. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Constitution writers will urge the National Legislative Assembly to send the organic laws on MPs and senators to the Constitutional Court, a process that could delay the general election.

The last two organic laws required before the countdown to a general election begins were passed on Thursday. The NLA is holding them in case some minority lawmakers want to file a petition to challenge their constitutionality before the Constitutional Court, an unlikely scenario given the pre-election mood that has begun to take hold.

But on Tuesday, Meechai Ruchupan, chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee, said he would send a letter to the NLA president in a couple of days to express his concern about the constitutionality of the two bills.

“If 25 of the NLA members sign up to send the two bills to the Constitutional Court, the roadmap to the election won’t be affected. But if they rush and skip this process, there could be a big problem after the election if someone challenges them and the Constitution Court rules them unconstitutional,” he warned.

If that happens, Mr Meechai continues, the MP election or senators selection would be scrapped.

“The two bills will then have to be rewritten for scratch and the CDC won’t be there to do it because it will constitutionally cease duty after the two bills are promulgated in the Royal Gazette.”

NLA president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai said on Tuesday he would discuss the possibility with Mr Meechai.

He believes the review of the senator bill would not affect the roadmap. “After all, the MP law will take effect 90 days after it was published in the Royal Gazette so there’s still time.”

However, if the MP law is sent for review too, the roadmap could be shifted, he said.

He commented the CDC should have been more assertive when the NLA debated the bills. “I don’t find the CDC had grave concerns [during the debate] like Mr Meechai suggested.”


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