Mon, July 04, 2022

in-focus

Article 44 exempt from legislative controls


The new charter stipulates that any legislation must be considered in conjunction with a hearing process, although orders by the sweeping power of Article 44 are exempt, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Friday.

This is because the junta head’s power is specially covered by the new charter’s Article 265, Wissanu explained. Article 265 gives the head of the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) powers granted under the post-coup interim charter and will cease once the NCPO steps down.
Consequently, this includes the interim Article 44, granting absolute power to the NCPO head that can order and retain people or perform any acts, whether legislative, executive or judicial.
Since 2014, almost 150 orders have been enacted by Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, who is also the junta chief. They range widely from shifting officials, setting up new agencies, to managing the construction of sky train routes.
The absolute nature of Article 44, however, could clash with the 2017 charter’s Article 77. It stipulates that prior to any law drafting process, the authority shall receive opinions from related parties, conduct rounded analyses as well as publicise all outcomes.
But Wissanu said that any law included under the Article 265’s umbrella is excluded from the condition. “ It [Article 44] might even be more powerful than the Article 77,” the deputy said.
Orders enacted under the interim’s Article 44 would also remain in place, the deputy said. If the next government wishes to revoke the orders, it can do so by enacting bills.
“The current government can simply issue a new Article 44 order to revoke the old ones,” he said. “There are some orders considered to be revoked, but I don’t know yet how many of them will be.”

Published : April 07, 2017

By : The Nation