The Constitutional Court will convene on Wednesday to consider whether it will accept the Election Commission’s petition against the new EC draft law.
The EC bill is the first of the organic laws to pass through the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) and the tripartite law review committee. Prior to the EC’s decision to petition the Constitutional Court, the EC bill was close to promulgation, pending only royal endorsement. The EC, however, made a last-ditch attempt to get a ruling on the law’s constitutionality.
There are some six points in the bill that the EC has objected to, including the total reset of the current commission.
However, it has decided not to petition the reset question, as the optics of this could lead some people to conclude that it was fighting for the personal interests of EC members. Instead, said Election Commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn on Thursday, it will petition the court over the constitutionality of two controversial points.
The first concerns the removal of the EC’s authority to organise local elections. The second is the removal of the power of EC members to suspend elections if fraud is found.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said yesterday that the EC’s petition would affect the process of royal endorsement of the government’s final submission.
However, he added, it would be unlikely to affect the election roadmap. That’s because lawmakers have ensured sufficient time to enact the 10 organic laws required by the new charter, he said.