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NRC panel in favour of direct election of Cabinet and PM



NRC panel in favour of direct election of Cabinet and PM | Thaiger


– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

NRC panel in favour of direct election of Cabinet and PM
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: A new parliamentary system that has never been seen before in Thailand – separation of the executive and legislative branches where the entire cabinet, including the PM, will be directly elected – was agreed upon by a subcommittee on political reform yesterday.

The National Reform Council (NRC)’s subcommittee on political structure and independent agencies reached the initial conclusion at its meeting yesterday, according to Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, an NRC member who heads the subcommittee. “This is an innovative proposal that has never been seen before in Thai politics,” he said, adding that most of the subcommittee members want direct election of the whole set of Cabinet members, including prime minister.

Sombat explained that the system would see a list of members presented to voters in the general election so that the people will know if each of the cabinet candidate deserves their vote.

The NRC member said: “The good thing about this is that if the PM candidate chooses a bad cabinet list, then the people will not vote for him. On the other hand, if a cabinet list is good, people will vote for the list. The PM will not be the only deciding factor to win the electoral vote, but all candidates on the list,”

The general election for cabinet members and members of representatives will be held at the same time but a voter will have to vote for a cabinet list and the representative for his or her constituency.

Sombat said another interesting point that had been raised was the setting up of a National Evaluation Commission. In the past, politicians intervened and influenced the appointments in key public offices. Even police offices are being bought. To solve this problem, a National Evaluation Commission should be set up to regulate any appointments or promotions for all important public offices.

“For example, there should be criteria and required qualification for any candidate who is to be appointed governor or director-general of ministries,” Sombat pointed out. He explained that the commission will appoint subcommittee members for each ministry and these subcommittee members will be reshuffled yearly to ensure their neutrality.

Another key task of this commission will be to regulate and evaluate national mega-projects, “whether the money had been efficiently spent and whether it had realised its cause of benefiting the society”, he explained. If the commission found the results negative, then it would be their duty to report to the public and pressure the political party to end the project. This can stop politicians from pursuing personal interests in national projects, Sombat claimed.

— Phuket Gazette Editors


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