Junta’s lawmakers face investigation over stock holdings

90 members of the junta-appointed National Legislative Assembly (NLA) face dismissal for breaching the constitution, according to the Election Commission of Thailand (ECT). 
 
On 4 July 2017, the ECT initiated an investigation into 90 members of the NLA over alleged conflict of interest in their stock holdings. If found guilty, they will be dismissed for breaching the 2017 Constitution.     
 
According to Election Commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, the ECT will appoint a commission to investigate the issue with a two-month time frame. If the commission find reasonable suspicions, the ECT will submit the case to the Constitutional Court for a final judgement.  
 
Somchai added that the petition to investigate the NLA members was originally filed by Pheu Thai politician Ruangkrai Leekitwattana. 
 
In response, NLA President Pornpetch Wichitcholchai told the media that members will be considered to have violated the constitution only if they acquired or bought stocks after the charter came into force.  
 
The ECT today also approved the Organic Law on Political Parties. Somchai said the law will introduce strict regulations which might cause problems for political parties. For example, new parties must have at least 5,000 party members in four regions within six months of the party’s establishment.  
 
“The Organic Law on Political Parties has many new details and will be difficult to follow at the beginning. But all processes aim at strengthening and institutionalising political parties and the ECT will try its best to facilitate them,” said Somchai.
 
 
Somchai Srisutthiyakorn