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'Don't rush to judgement on NLA: member

NEW NATIONAL Legislative Assembly (NLA) member Teeradej Meepiaen has asked critics not to rush to criticise NLA members but to wait and judge them after they have been working for some time.

Teeradej, a former Senate speaker, was speaking after reporting to Parliament yesterday following the National Council for Peace and Order's announcement of the 200 NLA members on Thursday.

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will inaugurate the session of the National Legislative Assembly in a ceremony at the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall at 3pm on Thursday. Then, the NLA will hold its first meeting at 9.30am on Friday. Senate Secretary-General Norarat Pimsen has sent letters to NLA members, telling them to attend the inauguration ceremony and first meeting.

As of press time, 140 of the 200 members had reported to Parliament ahead of the new Parliament convening its first session on Friday to vote for its chairperson and deputies.

Teeradej was joined by other members in reporting yesterday on what was the third reporting day, including former Defence Ministry permanent secretary general Nipat Thonglek and Auditor-General Pornphet wichitchonchai.

Pornphet said he felt deeply honoured to assume the NLA post and to play a significant role in bringing about reform in accordance with the NCPO's second-stage roadmap.

He said it was up to the other members to decide if he would serve as chairman.

Teeradej said a meeting scheduled for today between former senators who were now NLA members would be a casual talk with no issues discussed.

Member Klanarong Chantik said all his colleagues had been given a chance to serve the country and they were bound to do their best in legislating and screening laws.

He expressed confidence that the NLA would be able to solve the country's issues in the long term.

Meanwhile, leaflets expressing dissatisfaction with the current political situation were circulated outside the Office of the Government Lottery and the National Anti-Corruption Commission on Sanambin Nam Road early yesterday morning.

Most people happy

But a Dusit Poll released yesterday showed most people were happy with the NLA members.

Of 1,214 people nationwide surveyed on Friday and Saturday, 81 per cent said the fact that most members were military officials and high-profile figures met public expectations, while 78 per cent believed there were people who approved and disapproved of the list and the members' performance was being monitored closely by the public and the media.

Another 73 per cent said the NLA appointments had moved forward the NCPO's reform roadmap to election mode, 73 per cent said the process would move the country forward and 62 per cent said the process would create confidence among the foreign community.

Another 54 per cent said the NLA members must meet the interim charter's criteria or be disqualified, while 47 per cent said they were satisfied with the members because they were knowledgeable, competent and experienced.

About 38 per cent said they were quite satisfied because of the diversity of groups the members were picked from and they believed the NCPO would be able to complete its reform task within the timeframe.

Nine per cent said they were not happy because the qualifications of members did not meet the criteria and 4 per cent said the public should have been allowed to take part in the selection process.

Asked about their expectations of the members, 84 per cent said they expected them to have honesty, integrity, knowledge and experience, 70 per cent said they wanted people who worked in the public interest and 68 per cent said they expected them to issue useful laws, especially anti-corruption laws.

Asked what they would like to tell members, 85 per cent said they should do their best for the country and 82 per cent said they should work with transparency, justice and neutrality.


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