The Senate can meet without House, but best wait: Panas

national April 14, 2014 00:00


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A SENATE meeting in this period when there is no House of Representatives is possible - but it is not necessary, former senator and drafter of the 1997 Constitution, Panas Tassaneeyanont said.

Panas, who was also a Pheu Thai MP candidate, said that if an opening of a Senate meeting in 2006 under Thaksin Shinawatra’s caretaker government was to be considered the norm, such a meeting was possible. However, the meeting should be held only when the newly elected senators take office.
The government and Pheu Thai Party insisted that the government could not issue a Royal Decree on the opening of an extraordinary parliamentary session, as requested by Deputy Senate Speaker Surachai Liengboonlertchai.
Surachai proposed such an extraordinary session be opened to consider impeachment of former Senate Speaker Nikom Wairatpanij, the appointment of National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) member candidate Supa Piyajitti and the appointment of Administrative Court specialists.
Panas said that the meeting in 2006 was for the appointment of Election Commission (EC) |members as there was no EC at that time – and the EC was necessary to hold an election after the House dissolution in the same year.
However, he said, the appointment of the people on Surachai’s agenda was not urgent. Also, impeachment of Nikom was not possible as it was for the Parliament president, chosen from the House speaker position, to issue a Royal Decree for a meeting for the purpose, Panas said.
Nikom was an elected senator whose term ended last month and was indicted by the NACC as having violated the charter while chairing a meeting on charter amendment related to the composition of the Senate.
Nikom is seen as an elected senator with a close relationship to the Pheu Thai Party.
Article 132 of the Constitution says that after the term of the House ends, or in the case of a House dissolution, a Senate convention is possible only in some particular cases, including appointment and impeachment of people as authorised by the charter.