Election commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn has been removed from his office at the order of General Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Prime Minister Prayut, in his capacity as head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), exercised his power under the special powers specified by Article 44 embedded in the new charter.
Somchai’s termination as an Election Commission member became effective yesterday, when the junta chief’s order was announced in the Royal Gazette.
The order also stated that any other EC member who reaches the retirement age of 70 shall be able to continue his work until a new set of election commissioners take over from the current EC members.
The order said that Somchai had carried out inappropriate behaviour by causing public confusion in his remarks with the media about the election process. Also, Somchai was in conflict of interest by applying to become EC secretary-general without resigning from his current post, it added.
Initially, acting EC secretary-general Jarungwit Phumma said four election commissioners made a valid quorum. He said the EC could still make decisions with four commissioners under the previous law.
However, he said he was not sure how many people it took to make a quorum under the new law, where the EC has seven members.