The controversial proposal for a fully appointed Senate during the transitional post-election period could [they mean would] weaken an elected government and make national reform an excuse to bring it down, according to a highly-placed source with the National Legislative Assembly (NLA).
The proposal is the brainchild of Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, who said there was nothing wrong with members of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) serving as “transitional” appointed senators.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has also welcomed the idea, saying a chamber of appointed senators is needed to ensure the continuity and success of his government’s national reforms during the transitional post-election period.
This gave rise to speculation that NCPO members would be appointed to sit in the Upper House to counterbalance elected MPs, provided the charter writing body agrees to include the proposal in a provisional clause.
The proposal also suggests the appointed senators be given more power such as proposing legislation, and impeaching political office-holders….
… if the CDC accepts the proposal, all 200 senators are expected to be appointed by the current government. They would be given the same power as elected MPs to propose legislation and keep an elected government in check.
Most importantly, the appointed senators would likely have the power to vote in a censure motion against an elected government. This means the elected government could be brought down easily if it fails to follow through with reforms initiated by the military government, the source said.
The appointed Senate could be given unprecedented broad powers under the new constitution, the source said.
The source also said the appointed Senate would likely comprise at least five members of the NCPO, while the rest would come from members of the NLA, which is already made up of more than 100 soldiers.
If the Constitution Drafting Committee doesn’t agree, then any “compromise” will require it to come up with something that more-or-less matches the plan so that the military goons can continue to control Thailand.