NLA happy with work done during the past year
THE NATIONAL Legislative Assembly (NLA) has expressed satisfaction with its overall work in the past year, during which it passed 271 laws, including organic bills. It is also expecting to see many more new laws passed in 2018 in relation to political reforms and the national strategy.
NLA vice president Surachai Liangboonlertchai said that, in the past year, 334 laws had entered the Assembly. It had passed 271 of them and 263 had already been promulgated, he added.
Four organic laws on political parties, criminal procedures against political office-holders, the Election Commission and the Nation Human Rights Commission were among those in effect, he said.
The NLA had also passed organic bills on the Ombudsman, the Office of the Auditor-General and the procedures in the Constitutional Court that were currently pending royal endorsement, Surachai added.
The organic bill on the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) was passed in the chamber on Monday. Surachai said that it would be submitted to the NACC and the Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC) to review the law before forwarding it to the prime minister, who would seek royal endorsement.
If the NACC or the CDC found the bill disagreeable, however, a joint committee would be set up to revise the bill, he said.
The last two organic bills were those on MPs and the Senate. Having passed their first readings last month, they would enter the chamber again for second and third readings in the third week of January before the deadline set for the 26th day, he said.
Once they were promulgated, Surachai said that the clock would start ticking for the election.
The NLA vice president also said in the coming year laws concerning national reform would be proposed to the Assembly. They followed – and were connected to – the reform plan and the national strategy as stipulated by the new Constitution, he said.
The national strategy, which will shape public policy for the next 20 years, Surachai said, was expected to enter the NLA, too, so it could be implemented as stated by the charter. It was an important issue to occur before the election, the NLA vice president said. Controversies hitting the NLA in the past year included the decision to replace commissioners and reset some independent agencies. Critics said that choosing to spare some commissioners while dismissing others reflected a double standard.
Surachai said that officials involved in the legislation reasoned that the decision to dismiss or not dismiss those commissioners depended largely on their missions. Apart from that, the Constitution had been interpreted as allowing the NLA to have the final say regarding the laws, he said.
Asked whether the practice would hurt the credibility of the independent agencies, Surachai said the public would question them, but their performance would be the determining factor.