The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) turned down Paranee Leenutaphong, nominated to become ombudsman, after finding the candidate did not have the qualifications set by the constitution.
The legislators voted 64 to 117, with 19 abstentions, rejecting Paranee’s nomination, after an hour of apparently heated debate behind closed doors.
A source in the NLA said that the decision was due to complaints against Paranee that she had claimed to have a connection with a senior official to enable her to gain a previous promotion.
In addition, the scrutinising committee found Paranee had not had a health check-up as legally required before applying for the ombudsman position, the source said.
Paranee, who formerly was an associate justice of Nonthaburi Provincial Court Juvenile and Family Division, was therefore disqualified, he added.
Aside from that, the selection process had also been problematic, the source said. As many as 12 of the 14 candidates had been misinformed by the recruitment announcement and applied for the post although they did not have sufficient qualifications, he added.
“Only two people made the cut in the initial selection process, namely Paranee and Laddawan Tantiwittayapitak, a former secretary-general of the Law Reform Commission of Thailand. Still the election committee proceeded to vote between the two instead of finding more candidates,” the source explained.
“Regardless of the criticism, Paranee won the vote unanimously,” he said, adding that legislators raised many questions during the assembly to approve her before then rejecting her application.