The organic law on the Election Commission published in the Royal Gazette on Wednesday will result in the immediate dismissal of the five current commissioners on Thursday, although they will continue in office under the provisional chapter until new commissioners are appointed, National Legislative Assembly President Pornpetch Wichitcholchai said.
The NLA secretariat office has sent a letter to the selection committee to kickstart the process of naming the new commissioners. The process is expected to be completed within 90 days, he added. Of the seven commissioners to be selected, five names will come from the committee and two others from the Supreme Court meeting.
By early December, the list of the new EC commissioners should be tabled for the NLA’s endorsement within 45 days. If the NLA disagrees with any of the persons on the list, a new selection round would be held to find a replacement, Pornpetch said.
Pornpetch said the NLA has managed to deliberate and endorse the law within 60 days as stipulated under the new charter, but due to differences in views, especially in regard to the total reset of the EC, the law enactment process was prolonged for nearly three months.
This is the factor that needs to be taken into account when considering the coming election, to see whether or not it would still follow the government’s road map, he said.
Pornpetch said he could not say at this point whether the delay in the law enactment would affect the road map.
The law is the first of 10 organic laws to be promulgated that are essential for holding an election next year. Three other organic laws required for the election, but not yet enacted, involve political parties, and the origins of Senators and members of the House of Representatives.
The organic law governing the EC is controversial because of the dismissal of the current EC members. It is not known yet whether the EC members will take any further legal action to challenge the law and maintain their positions.