Yesterday (26 February 2019), representatives of the People Go Network, led by Supaporn Malailoy from EnLAW Foundation, went to Parliament to deliver a petition, signed by 280 organizations, academics, lawyers and other individuals, calling for the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) to stop considering and passing new laws and to make way for the elected parliament.
Supaporn said that since the election date was announced, the NLA has sped up its procedures and passed many laws when it should have stopped in order to make way for the forthcoming elected parliament. She also said that the public does not play a part in the NLA’s legislative process, and even if the NLA claims that they have held public forums, they were only online. Not only that, many bills which faced opposition from the public, such as on water resources, factories, computer crime and the Eastern Economic Corridor, were passed by the NLA regardless.
Supaporn noted that the public did not agree with many bills that are being considered by the NLA , such as those on rice, cybersecurity and national parks. These disputed bills should be considered by the people’s representatives, and the people should be able to take part in the legislative process, while many laws which have already been passed but are causing problems for the public should be reconsidered, repealed, or amended.
Part of the petition states that the NLA should realise that it has no legitimacy, both in terms of how its members were appointed, the laws they have passed, or in working until the last minute. Since it has already been announced that there will be a general election, the NLA should immediately stop considering and passing laws.
The NLA has 250 members, all appointed by the NCPO government. It has already passed 66 laws in the past month alone despite the promise of its President, Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, that the NLA would stop considering new laws at the beginning of this year. NLA member Somchai Sawangkarn said that the NLA will continue to hold meetings until 15 March and will be dissolved on 23 May, but he also said that the NLA will be following up on laws that have been passed and require ministries, bureaux, and departments to pass organic laws.
Today (27 February 2019), at around 9:30, the NGO Coordinating Committee on Development (NGO-COD), along with 300 representatives from other organizations and individuals, met in front of Wat Benchamabophit, all dressed in black in a demonstration calling for the NLA to immediately stop considering all laws and for the NLA members to resign from their position. It was also reported that 214 representatives of the group will be going to the parliament to hand in their petition.