Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bueng Kan and the Senate

I was a little bit to hasty last week when I announced that Bueng Kan was done with the parliamentary process already. While it was approved by the House of Representatives, I forgot that the Senate also has to approve it, which was done on January 31st with 85:5 votes. And, as Khun Wisarut writes in the 2bangkok forum, the original law will be amended to be effective right on the next day after it is published in the Royal Gazette instead of the 90 days originally planned.

The reason for this hurry to make the province effective is the end of term for the appointed members of Senate on February 18 - as part of the transitory sections of the constitution the first term of appointed senators is only three years and not six. I wasn't aware of this transitory rule, which means that any new province might have to wait for nine years till it gets their own senator - if Bueng Kan get effective after new 74 appointed senators are chosen and endorsed, there next round of senator elections can only choose 76 senators, as the constitution states there are a maximum of 150 senators, and the appointed senators have a term of six years then as well. Thus only when in the next round of appointments one senatorial seat is left vacant there will be a space in the election three years after the appointments.

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