Thailand’s Senate has new speaker

New Speaker of the Senate of Thailand Pornpetch Wichitcholchai (Photo: AFP/VNA). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

BANGKOK, May 25, 2019, VNA. Former President of Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly (NLA) Pornpetch Wichitcholchai on May 24 was elected as the new Speaker of the Senate with a five-year tenure, reported the Vietnam News Agency.

The same day, Singsuek Singphrai, a former member of the NLA, and Supphachai Somcharoen, a former member of the Election Commission, were voted as Deputy Speakers of the Senate.

Their appointments will become official once they are endorsed by Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Pornpetch said after the selection that the NLA under his leadership had passed more than 500 laws and all were legitimate. He also stressed the need for the Senate to collaborate with the elected House of Representatives.

Thailand’s National Assembly includes the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House of Representatives comprises 500 seats with a four-year tenure.

On May 14, the Royal Gazette released the list of 250 senators approved by the royal family.

The King and Queen of Thailand on May 24 presided over the opening ceremony of the new parliament after the March 24 election. It was the first parliament meeting of Thailand in five years.

In his opening remarks, King Maha Vajiralongkorn called on all parliamentarians to perform the best of their duty with responsibility for the benefits of the public and the country in order to move Thailand forward.

The first meeting of the House of Representatives will be held on May 25 to choose the speaker and vice speakers.

All the senators will vote along with those from the House of Representatives to select a new Prime Minister. The new PM must garner a minimum of 376 out of 750 votes in the parliament meeting.

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