By Thai Newsroom Reporters
OVER 50 PERSONS currently employed among others as members of entourage for all 250 senators have been found to share the same family names with or be closely related to the unelected legislators, reported a human-rights activist group today (Sept 6).
According to an iLaw report, more than 50 out of a total of 1,830 persons either currently employed as experts or specialists or close aides to the 250 senators reportedly share the same family names with or are closely related to the unelected legislators.
Each expert employed by the senators is given 24,000 baht in monthly salary whilst each specialist or close aide hired by the unelected lawmakers is given 15,000 baht in monthly pay out of the taxpayers’ money.
Many senators who have been employing their close relatives as members of their entourage remarkably include military officers and other high-ranking government officials, the iLaw report says.
Meanwhile, a joint House/Senate meeting today held a lengthy debate on a renewed motion to amend the constitution’s Section 272 in a sustained effort to end the senators’ power to vote alongside the MPs for head of a post-election government.
The pro-amendment legislators insisted that only the elected lawmakers be legally empowered to vote for head of government whilst the unelected ones should be no longer given such a decisive role.
Following the 2019 election, all the senators earlier handpicked by the 2014 coup junta under leadership of army chief-turned-premier Prayut Chan-o-cha unanimously picked him as head of a Palang Pracharath-led coalition government. A prime minister needs yea votes from a simple majority of MPs and senators combined.
Prayut who is currently suspended by the Constitutional Court from performing as prime minister might probably be named candidate for head of a post-election government again only if a court ruling was delivered to the extent that his eight-year tenure maximumly provided by law started from 2017, the year in which the constitution was promulgated, and not from 2014, the year in which he named himself head of a military-installed government.
Top: Thai Parliament meeting chamber. Photo: INN News
Front Page: Suspended Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at the Defence Ministry on Friday. Photos: Matichon