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Pheu Thai member petitions Senate against NACC nominee

Singthong Buachum on Wednesday petitioned the Senate to object to a Constitution-appointed selection committee's decision to nominate Supa as the new member of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), alleging she has a tainted record.

Singthong cited Article 8 of the Constitution's organic law, which stipulates that nominees for the NACC must possess a clean track record.

He said an NACC committee had resolved to investigate a corruption allegation against Supa.

The selection committee - which comprises Supreme Court president Direk Ingkaninanda, who serves as the committee's chairman; Constitutional Court president Charoon Intachan; and Supreme Administrative Court president Hassavut Vititviriyakul - voted on Wednesday to nominate Supa from among 14 candidates.

Supa will replace Jaided Pornchaiya, whose term expired when he turned 70.

Legal experts have argued that Supa is legally qualified to be a nominee as she only faced a corruption probe, and was not indicted by the NACC and found guilty of the charges.

Her opponents, however, claim she should not be nominated because she would sit on the NACC panel that will have to decide whether she was corrupt.

Finance Ministry permanent secretary Areepong Bhoochaoom last year transferred Supa out of the Comptroller General's Department to take the post of deputy permanent secretary overseeing the Fiscal Policy Office.

Supa chaired the e-auction committee and filed petitions with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission and the NACC, claiming that the NBTC's auction violated the government's e-auction rules, failed to generate real competition and may have contravened the 1999 State Bidding Act.

Locked horns

Last July, she testified before a Senate panel that the pledging scheme could suffer losses of Bt260 billion.

She has been accused by caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's camp of providing figures on the rice-pledging scheme counter to post-audit practice.

The nomination of Supa, however, will likely be delayed because the graft agency has to forward her nomination to the Senate for approval.

The Upper House has locked horns with the caretaker government after requesting that the Cabinet issue a royal decree calling for a special Senate session so that it can appoint members of independent agencies.

The government has refused to cooperate with the Senate, citing a legal technicality.

The Senate is likely to seek a Constitutional Court ruling over whether the government can legally call a special Senate session for such an objective.


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