NLA rushes through more bills (on eve of elections)-Bangkok Post

December 23, 2007

[CJ Hinke of FACT comments: Sure glad we’ve finally got that straight–bad laws are due to alcohol! Wait a minute…is anybody else out there listening?!? NLA members have been paid more than one million baht for their service to the coup. No law amendments can ever recover the damage to Thailand’s reputation.]

POLITICS / NEW LAWS
NLA rushes through more bills (on eve of elections)
Bangkok Post: December 22, 2007

The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) yesterday passed 27 bills into law on its last day of legislative deliberation amid extra tight security with about 900 police officers on duty. The NLA worked until midnight to finish clearing the backlog.

Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont yesterday tried to calm growing public concern over the NLA’s rush to pass many contentious bills over the past three days.

”It is the NLA’s authority, however nothing lasts forever. Any laws can be amended if we want to.

”Amendments can be done in the new House,” he said.

The NLA yesterday approved bills including the radio and television broadcasting bill which cleared its final reading with 88 votes for and one abstention.

The main intent of the bill is to prevent a monopoly in the broadcasting business, which might restrict public access to information.

The bill also prescribes the allocation of television airtime, where public channels must give at least 70% of airtime to news programmes and 25% in the case of commercial channels.

The NLA also approved the Consumer Protection law where a court is empowered to demand replacements for damaged or defective products.

It also passed the Alcohol Consumption Control Bill which imposes a round-the-clock ban on alcohol advertising on TV and radio. About 200 activists marched towards parliament, then fell on top of each other like dominoes and lay down on Uthong road in a ”die-in” protest against the NLA yesterday.

Protest leader Jon Ungpakorn said they wanted to show that the NLA disregarded the public’s wishes and was only concerned with serving men in uniform by rushing through bad laws.

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