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Council of State asked to clarify if MPs can be ministers' advisors

The Cabinet decided on Friday to ask for a legal interpretation of a ban against lawmakers holding executive offices in a bid to clarify whether MPs could be appointed as a ministerial adviser or a secretary to a minister.

"The Cabinet expects the Council of State to clarify the issue as quickly as possible in order to clear up the confusion," PM's Office Minister Chusak Sirinil said.

Article 265, paragraph one of the 2007 Constitution prohibits MPs and senators from holding positions in government agencies, state offices, state enterprises, local assemblies, local administrative offices and the local civil service.

Chusak said the legal interpretation was vital because the six coalition parties had already prepared to nominate MPs to assist in the work of Cabinet members.

Council secretary general Khun Pornthip Jala said she should be able to clarify the ban by the next Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said he would abide by the council's interpretation while awaiting a judicial review.

If the council ruled against appointing MPs to executive offices, one of the coalition parties might initiate a test case by nominating one partylist MP as a ministerial secretary or adviser in order to ask the Constitution Court to rule on the issue, he said.


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