Cold water poured on 'neutral PM' push

national March 10, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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The Senate's first Deputy Speaker Surachai Liengboonlertchai could not submit, on behalf of the outgoing Speaker of the Senate, the name of a "neutral" prime minister to HM the King for his consideration because it would be unconstitutional.

The People’s Democratic Reform Committee believes that Surachai can submit the name on behalf of Senate Speaker Nikom Wairatpanij, whose term has ended. 
But Parliamentary Secretary Suvijak Nakwatcharachai, speaking as Senate secretary, said it couldn’t be done because article 171 paragraph three of the Constitution stated that the speaker of Parliament had to counter-sign on the appointment of a prime minister.
He said that in the event of there being no parliament, like now, it was the Senate speaker’s responsibility.
There was no part in the Constitution that allowed the Senate deputy speaker to do a job on behalf of the parliamentary speaker, he said.

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