Chief charter drafter Meechai Ruchuphan should clarify what the charter’s stipulation of “completion of election” really means to prevent future conflicts along the election timeline, Kanin Boonsuwan, a former drafter of the 1997 constitution and member of the Pheu Thai Party’s legal team, said on Sunday.
Kanin spoke after the Election Commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn revealed on Thursday that the EC would discuss whether it would propose that the clause be interpreted by the Constitutional Court.
According to the constitution, the general election shall be held and completed within 150 days after passage of the four organic laws on the EC, political parties, the election and the Senate source.
It was still not clear what “completion” would cover and whether it would include the announcement of election results, Somchai said.
The EC has asked the Constitution Drafting Commission and the Council of State, but still has not received clarification, he added.
However, Kanin insisted that Meechai should be the best person to explain it, given that the charters of 1978 and 1991, which Meechai also took part in drafting, also contained the said clause.
Kanin said that he was concerned about political bias in the current Constitutional Court, as the ruling junta had allowed its judges to continue serving although they should have been “stripped off” along with the 2007 charter.
“It is about the perspectives of those who want to postpone the election and those who want to vote quickly,” he said “So, whatever interpretation the court provides will never stop this clash [of ideas].”
If the court provides clarification, it will mean that it will be outlining a yet-to-be-enforced clause. If this happens, others may copy this pattern by forwarding every unclear matter to the Constitutional Court for clarification.
“The EC themselves should know what ‘completion of election’ means,” he said. “They are responsible not only for organising elections but for managing several tasks before the first parliamentary meeting. I wonder why they are not sure of their own authority.”