Submitted on Thu, 2017-09-14 15:24
Thailand has taken another step closer to general elections after the promulgation of the new junta-written election commission law. New election commissioners will be selected by the 250 junta-appointed senators.
On 13 September 2017, the Organic Act on the Election Commission was published in the Royal Gazette after being passed by the National Legislative Assembly on 8 September. The Act dismisses the current election commissioners but they will continue as caretakers until new commissioners are appointed.
Article 8 of the Act states that the King shall appoint commissioners on the recommendation of the Senate, and according to Section 269 of the 2017 Constitution, the first 250 senators will all be appointed by the ruling junta to serve for five years after the first general election.
The Organic Act on the Election Commission was drafted by the junta-appointed Constitution Drafting Committee and is one of the four key organic laws which have to be passed before the long-awaited general election can be held. The other three are the organic acts on general elections, on the selection of senators, and on political parties.
The current ECT recently announced that the general election will be held on 18 August 2018. However, since organic acts on general elections and the selection of senators have not been drafted, this date could be postponed again.
Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has also said that he cannot guarantee that the election can be held in 2018 as the junta previously stated in its so-called “roadmap to democracy” since the drafting of the organic laws is not yet finished.