The members of parliament’s election bill has been returned to the National Legislative Assembly by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to be submitted to the Constitutional Court for interpretation of two questionable issues.
An informed government source said that the decision to have the questionable issues to be cleared up by the Constitutional Court was agreed upon by the NLA and the government’s legal affairs team as they didn’t want a problem to arise after the election.
Also, both the government and the NLA do not want the political roadmap to be affected, said the source.
The two questionable issues are: The first issue is whether it is constitutionally legitimate for a disabled voter to be helped in casting the ballot in polling booth and whether casting a ballot is considered as secret voting? And the second issue is whether it is legitimate to ban a voter who does not exercise his/her voting right from being appointed a political official?
Regarding political parties’ call for the junta to amend NCPO Order 53/2560, the source said that the matter had been considered by the Council of State, the Constitution Drafting Committee and the Election Commission, which collectively recommended partial amendment of the order, pertaining to the political activity of political parties.
Earlier on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Wisanu Kruea-ngarm, the government’s top legal expert, said that the ombudsman was authorized to ask the Constitutional Court to interpret NCPO Order 53/2560 and the government was legally bound to obey the court’s ruling.
However, he said that the Council of State had been working on amending the order to help solve some of the problems confronted by political parties.
One of the Catch 22 problem is the holding of a general meeting of a political party which requires the presence of the party leader and representatives of party’s branch offices.
However, some parties do not have branch offices yet and the problem is that they cannot set up the branch offices without first holding the general meeting which must be represented by the branch offices.