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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs 9 December 2014  

Ministers will be elected following reform

Thailand: As a new Constitution is being written, its drafting committee members have debated and concluded that cabinet ministers should be elected directly because it would be easier to investigate while it is also difficult to buy votes as in past administrations, according to Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, chairman of the National Reform Council (NRC) committee charged with political reform.
Realising that previous Constitutions contained many loopholes and problems, Mr Sombat said the constitution drafting committee unanimously agreed after several rounds of debate that cabinet ministers should in future be directly elected.
In the past, members of the House of Representatives were elected while the prime minister is appointed by them, causing vote buying. Once appointed the prime minister must repay them, sometimes in terms of budget, Mr Sombat said.
A proposal is now made in such a way that the administrative branch must be totally separate from the legislative branch, he said, adding that the constitution drafting committee will have to take this issue into consideration.
After the administrative branch is strengthened, its members could be impeached and stripped of power by the legislators, Mr Sombat said, noting that under this procedure, close scrutiny would be seen.
He said senators should be elected both directly and indirectly from various occupations and elected senators should also be empowered to impeach powerful politicians.  
The National Statistical Office will later survey the needs of the people.

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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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