Military officers, ex-senators expected to have strong role

national July 30, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) will mostly comprise of active military officers and former senators, sources said yesterday.

The Armed Forces will nominate up to 140 officers to be part of the assembly, while most former senators will come an appointed group that fully supports the coup and the junta.

According to the provisional Constitution, an NLA can comprise of up to 220 members.

A source from the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), who asked not to be named, said NCPO chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha should submit the list of NLA members for royal endorsement after he has carefully considered the names. He should have the list ready for the royal stamp between Thursday and Sunday.

Jade Donavanik, dean of Faculty of Law at Dhurakij Pundit, said the NLA should set a new bar for quality deliberation that could challenge politicians.

"Someone has said politicians are the country’s main problem. Their speeches always consist of inappropriate words. NLA members are like people’s representatives. They should deliver a quality deliberation speech to set themselves apart from those with ill practices,’’ he said.

The lawmakers should not fall into the trap of majority rule. They must work closely with the National Reform Council and establish clear targets including for public participation.

"Even if they are not direct representatives of the people, they have to ensure that there isn’t a gap between them and the people,’’ he said.

The NCPO might be having a tough time selecting representatives from various professional societies, the private sector and civic groups, he added.

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