Suchon brushes off threat from civic groups
Published on September 13, 2005 - Senate Speaker Suchon Chaleekrua yesterday shrugged off a threat by civic groups to begin an impeachment campaign against him if he fails to take concrete action to break an impasse over the nomination of the new auditor-general.
“This issue should be dealt with in Parliament, and not on the streets,” he said.
Civic groups on Sunday gave Suchon until tomorrow to end uncertainties over the matter or they will kick off a campaign to collect at least 50,000 signatures in a bid to oust him.
The Senate speaker yesterday suggested that the civic groups’ representatives meet him at the Parliament building to discuss the matter. “I’m pleased to welcome all of you, because I’m an elected office holder,” he said.
Suchon reiterated that he would continue to wait for a decision from the Royal Palace over the nomination of Visut Montriwat as the new auditor-general. He submitted the nomination, which was backed by 107 out of the 200 members of the Senate, for royal endorsement in early June.
Khunying Jaruvan Maintaka, the incumbent auditor-general, has refused to step down despite a Constitution Court ruling that stated the process to appoint her was unlawful.
The speaker returned from a trip to the United States yesterday morning. He later chaired a meeting of the Upper House.
Senator Winyu Ularnkul of Sakon Nakhon said that he would also give Suchon until tomorrow to try to find a way out of the impasse, otherwise he would begin a campaign to remove him.
However, he admitted that it would be difficult to remove Suchon from office as he would need the support of at least 120 of the 200 members of the Senate to oust him.
The Constitution states that at least one-fourth of senators must lodge a complaint with the Senate speaker in order to request that the Upper House pass a resolution to remove a senator from office.
A group of people yesterday presented Suchon with flowers in a show of support over the auditor-general controversy.
The speaker thanked them and stressed that the matter should be dealt with carefully as a wrong move might be regarded as being disrespectful to royal powers.