Confusion over committee to appoint new Electoral Commissioners

Breaking News October 18, 2017 16:36

By Confusion over committee to appoint new Electoral Commissioners

The National Human Rights Commission and the Office of the Auditor General lack the qualifications to nominate members to a committee to seek new Election Commissioners under the new organic laws.



The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai said on Wednesday that this was because the two organisations did not nominate anyone within 20 days, or by October 3, after they were contacted by the Secretariat of the Senate.

This will result in the committee to select the new EC comprising only six members – but the selection procedure could continue as usual, Pornpetch said.

Applications for positions as commissioners will be open from October 19 to November 10.

New commissioners are being sought because the new organic law on the EC, enacted last month, stipulates that the former commissioners had to leave office once the law was enforced. They are now in acting positions.

The current commissioners have been skeptical about the new law since the drafting process, largely because of the qualifications required under the law.

On Sunday, Election Commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn also argued that a Constitutional Court representative in the seeking committee, Jarernsak Rojanaritphichet, might fail to be qualified as he had not resigned from a political position he held.

But Nat Phasuk, secretary-general to the Secretariat of the Senate, on Wednesday reiterated that Jarernsak, a former deputy rector of Kasetsart University and a drafter of the 2007 charter, is actually qualified as he never held such a political position.

According to Jarernsak’s profile in the Kasetsart University database, he was once appointed as an adviser to industry minister, agriculture and cooperative minister, and deputy prime minister. However, the profile does not specify the names of the politicians Jarernsak served or when he worked for them.

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