Senatorial amendment bill violates Article 68: Constitutional Court rules

national November 20, 2013 00:00

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The Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday that the amendment bill on senators' qualifications and elections violated Article 68. But the court dismissed the request for dissolution of the six coalition parties.

The court reasoned that the amendment bill would destroy the check-and-balance system between the lower and upper chambers by having all senators come from elections.

The court also slammed the amendments that would allow spouses and close relatives of MPs to stand in senatorial elections. This would allow politicians of the lower chamber to dominate the upper chamber, the court ruled.
The court voted 5 to 4 in its ruling that the bill violated Article 68.
Article 68 prohibits anyone from seeking ruling power through unconstitutional ways.
The court also ruled that the bill violated Articles 122, 125, 126, and 291, which were related to the process of the bill’s deliberations.
The court reasoned that it decided against dissolving the six parties because the MPs, who voted for the bill, did not commit any action that warranted that their parties be dissolved.
The Constitutional Court said the bill violated Article 291 because the draft submitted to the Parliamentary meeting was not the same as that submitted by Udomdej Ratanasatien. As a result, the court said the process was illegal.
The court also ruled that the second reading of had violated the parliamentary meeting regulations because the debates by MPs and senators, who disagreed with the majority side of the vetting panel, were cut short. The court said those who disagreed with the bill were treated with bias during the deliberations.
Moreover, the court ruled, the vote counts were retroactively done.
The court also found that the voting for the senatorial charter amendment bill was illegal because coalition MPs were seen on a video clip to vote for their peers.
The court stated that the law required each lawmaker to vote freely without being influenced by others.
The court said the conduct of voting for others was against the principle of honesty.

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