Military officials to dominate National Legislative Assembly

national July 31, 2014 00:00


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Up to 140 of NLA's 220 members to be from armed forces : source

THE NATIONAL Legislative Assembly will be heavily dominated by military officers from all the Armed Forces – between 125 and 140 of the total 220 NLA members – according to a source familiar with the matter.

Among the appointed members of the legislative body will be 60 officers from the Army, 20 from the Navy, 20 from the Air Force, 20-30 from the Thai Armed Forces Command, and between five and 10 from the Defence Permanent Secretary’s Office, the source said yesterday.

Another five to 10 NLA members will come from the Royal Thai Police and the rest will include former senators, academics, non-government-organisation workers, and businesspeople, according to the source.

A list of the appointed 220 NLA members, selected by the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), has been submitted to the junta’s leader, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, who is expected to forward it for royal endorsement this week, the source said.

The interim legislative body is expected to convene its first meeting around the middle of next month.

Deputy NCPO chief General Adul Saengsingkaew yesterday inspected the Parliamentary Office’s readiness to prepare for appointments and the convening of NLA members.

He met with senior officials of the Parliamentary Office for about an hour. Adul said afterwards he was satisfied with the preparations.

Earlier, Jade Donavanik, dean of Dhurakij Pundit University’s faculty of law, said the NLA should set a new bar for quality deliberations 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 quality speeches to set themselves apart from those with poor practices,’’ he said. Lawmakers should not fall into the trap of majority rule.

He said they must work closely with the National Reform Council and establish clear targets, including public participation.

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

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

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