Debate For the Selection of the Prime Minister Commences Wednesday- But No Time Limit

Members of parliament will be given all the time they need to debate the issue of the controversial selection process for senators in the joint parliament meeting to elect the Prime Minister on Wednesday.

House speaker Chuan Leekpai, in his capacity as the parliament president, said on Monday that he would not set a time limit for the debate and, asked whether the senator selection debate may delay the prime minister’s election, Mr. Chuan said that the debate will take as long as needed.

When asked if it is necessary for the prime ministerial candidates to be present during the debate, Mr. Chuan simply said that this would depend on the law, parliamentary regulations and the meeting, noting that there is no law that forbids the candidates from attending the debate.

The selection process of senators has come under heavy criticism from pro-democracy advocates, as well as the Pheu Thai party and its allies, for being opaque, undemocratic and depriving the public of the right of participation, but giving the decision making power to the National Council for Peace and Order.