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Wissanu mulls amendment to law on NBTC member selection


Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said yesterday he was considering asking the Cabinet to pass an amendment to the law regulating the selection of new members for the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

Wissanu, who is in charge of the government’s legal affairs, said the NBTC needed to amend the law regulating its affairs and that the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) should suggest any issues regarding the matter.
“I am considering suggesting that the Cabinet instruct the NBTC” to amend the relevant law, he said.
The deputy premier said one problem involved a clause about the qualifications of NBTC member candidates that he described as “perhaps unclear”. Also, he added, the rules should be made clear that every candidate needs to get support from the majority of selection committee members to get nominated.
Last week, the NLA voted to reject all 14 final candidates to fill the seats of seven NBTC members. The assembly’s scrutinising committee found more than half of the candidates were stakeholders in businesses involved in the areas regulated by the commission, thereby disqualifying them from taking the post.
The law requires that the next selection process start from the beginning and be complete within 30 days.
Wissanu said on Friday the short period of time allowed by law made it necessary for the ruling junta – the National Council for Peace and Order – to issue an order on Tuesday to halt the process of selecting new NBTC members. 
He added that selection committee members had complained they had insufficient time to carefully check the qualifications of short-listed candidates. “They said the NLA’s scrutinising committee had more time for background checks on the candidates,” Wissanu said.
The six-year term of the current NBTC members ended in October last year but the law regulating the agency allows them to continue in the same capacity until they are replaced by new members.

Published : April 27, 2018

By : The Nation