ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Interior minister rejects charter court’s verdict
BANGKOK, Nov 20 – Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan today expressed his strong opposition to the Constitution Court’s ruling to retain the original composition of the Senate which favours a combination of elected and appointed senators.
In an interview after the court’s verdict on the unsuccessful charter change amendment, the Pheu Thai Party leader said he wondered how an Upper House with all elected members could be worse than a Senate with partially-appointed members.
“The screening committee (for appointed senators) comprises only seven persons. How can it be more efficient than voters countrywide?” he asked.
“I can’t accept the court’s ruling, especially the minor issue of MPs inserting voting cards for others. It represented only a few votes. The bill was passed with a substantial margin.”
He said the court’s verdict will widen the growing rift among the people as one faction agreed with power of the people while the other faction supported the power of only a few persons.
Mr Charupong said he believed ideological conflicts will worsen as people who want to exercise their voting rights will find the verdict unacceptable.
Asked how the government will respond to the Constitution Court’s ruling, Mr Charupong said there was no discussion yet but the government will take responsibility for the majority or 63 million people, instead of the opinions of only a few persons.
The nine judges today voted six to three to rule as unconstitutional the Parliament’s passage of a bill requiring all members of the Senate to be elected, not partially appointed.
The court also ruled that the MPs who inserted ballots to vote on behalf of absent lawmakers violated Section 126, Clause 3 of the Constitution. (MCOT online news)
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