New order gives EC final say on constituency map

New order gives EC final say on constituency map

In this Feb 2, 2014 file photo, then army chief Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha casts the ballot at a poll station in Bangkok. (Bangkok Post file photo)
In this Feb 2, 2014 file photo, then army chief Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha casts the ballot at a poll station in Bangkok. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has signed an order granting the Election Commission (EC) the authority to do what is necessary to resolve disputes so that the redrawing of all 350 constituencies are done by the Dec 10 deadline.

The No.16/2561 order, issued by his authority allowed under Section 44 of the 2014 interim charter as the chief of the National Council for Peace and Order, was published in the Royal Gazette on Friday.

The order cited as the reason complaints by several parties about the constituency map proposed by the EC and inadequate and incomprehensive hearings on them.

“In the event of complaints about the constituencies, the EC may decide on or redraw the constituencies to resolve the disputes.

“The EC’s decisions or actions shall be considered legitimate, constitutional and final,” read the order. 

While the order may aim to keep the roadmap to the general election intact, critics say it defeats the purpose of an earlier NCPO order requiring public hearings on the new map before the EC approves it.

The EC said earlier for each constituency, it would come up with three maps to choose from. But during subsequent hearings, several parties and people expressed opinions against them and some filed complaints against certain models.      

Under the previous 13/2561 NCPO order, the redrawing of the constituencies must be finished before the MP law comes into effect. The key law comes into force 90 days after it was published in the Royal Gazette, or on Dec 11.


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