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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  26 December 2014  

Constitution drafters plan for 200 senators

The Constitution Drafting Committee is planning for the next Senate with 200 members and authority to check the backgrounds of minister nominees.
Khamnoon Sitthisaman, committee spokesman, said the panel reached a consensus that 200 senators would be indirectly elected from five groups from the public.
They are the group of former members of the executive, the judiciary and the legislature, the group of former key government officials like former armed forces chiefs and former permanent secretaries, the group of chairpersons at legalized professional organizations such as the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Thai Industries, a group of people's organizations and the group of various professional organizations.
Mr Khamnoon said that senators would retain their authority to propose laws and remove the prime minister, ministers, House representatives, Senators and heads of government offices but the removal would require a majority vote of the House and the Senate.
Drafters plan to authorize senators to examine the profiles of minister nominees before the prime minister submits their list for royal approval.
Senators will also be empowered to check and publicize the moral profiles of heads of government organizations. The drafters have not concluded the senators' terms of office.
Mr Khamnoon added that under the new charter draft House representatives would nominate the prime minister and the House speaker would submit the name to His Majesty the King for approval.
The prime minister was not required to be a House representative in case of any political deadlock, he said.
On Wednesday, the CDC resolved that a total of 450 MPs will be elected under the new charter, with 250 of them to be drawn from constituencies and 200 others coming from the party-list system, according to its spokesman Gen Lertrat Ratanavanich. (MCOT online news)

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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