Election Commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn railed against the Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC) for facilitating current National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) members to continue after the agency is reconstituted while the same standard was not used for the Election Commission (EC).
His strong reaction comes after the committee vetting the organic law governing the NHRC revealed that despite the possible reset, the current commissioners could reapply for the position because it was considered “an organisation under the Constitution”, under the 2007 charter, and not an independent organisation.
The EC, on the other hand, is an independent organisation and under the new Constitution members of such a body could not reapply for the position.
Clearly upset by the reset and the perceived double standard, Somchai asserted that the NHRC under the new constitution was also an independent organisation.
The CDC, whose members also sit on the vetting committee, might have forgotten that they had placed the NHRC in the sixth section of Chapter 12 “Independent Organisations” of the Constitution, Somchai said.
This clearly pointed to the NHRC being an independent organisation and the CDC must be out of its mind to assume otherwise, the EC member added.
Somchai, who would be removed from the office together with his four other colleagues should the EC organic law come into effect, insisted that since the Constitution was promulgated on April 6, the NHRC had become a fully independent organisation as prescribed by the charter.
He added that if the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) passed the NHRC organic law, it would be another problematic bill and it might have to be ruled on by the Constitutional Court.
The EC had filed a petition challenging six points in the draft bill governing its agency, including the dismissal of current members from the office. The NLA this Friday would officially set up a joint committee to review the bill following the petition and the conclusion was expected on July 15.