Outgoing Senate to fulfil duties until new members endorsed by EC

Image courtesy of Thai Enquirer

Senate Speaker Pornpetch Wichitcholchai affirmed that the outgoing Senate will continue its duties until the Election Commission (EC) officially endorses the 200 new senators.

This statement comes amid questions from political analysts and senators-elect regarding the outgoing Senate’s role in reviewing the budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. Concerns have been raised about why the outgoing senators, whose terms end once the EC confirms the Senate election results, are handling the budget review instead of the senators-elect, who will be held accountable for any budget-related issues.

Pornpetch clarified yesterday, July 7, that according to the law, the current senators must remain in their roles until the new Upper House is sworn in. He noted that while the outgoing senators’ term technically expired on May 10, they are legally required to continue their duties. He emphasised that this adherence is in line with the constitution, ensuring the continuity of Parliamentary operations.

“The senators must carry out their function.”

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He pointed out that the Senate is set to review amendments to the Administration’s Measures for Prevention and Suppression of Corruption Act today, which the House of Representatives has sent back for further consideration.

Regarding the suggestion by caretaker Senator Somchai Swangkarn to form a committee to study the Senate voting process based on Section 107 of the charter, Pornpetch mentioned that he has yet to examine the proposal’s specifics.

Meanwhile, the EC is preparing to announce the results of the Senate election this week. A source has indicated that the Secretariat of the Senate will hold a ceremony to welcome the 200 new senators and the 100 candidates on the reserve list at the parliament complex in Bangkok’s Dusit district.

Following the EC’s endorsement, the names of the new senators will be published in the Royal Gazette. The new senators will then take their oath of office during the first Senate meeting. An election will also be held to choose the Senate speaker and their deputy.

The newly elected senators will serve a five-year term. Unlike their predecessors, they will not participate in selecting the next prime minister. Their responsibilities will be limited to passing legislation, approving amendments to laws, and endorsing the appointment of members of independent organisations, Constitutional Court judges, and the attorney-general, reported Bangkok Post.

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Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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