Govt set to take shape 'in June'

Govt set to take shape 'in June'

Wissanu hints at poll results schedule

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam

The new government is expected to take shape in June, based on the Election Commission's (EC) schedule of announcing the official poll results next Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Thursday in a statement.

Mr Wissanu hinted at the timeframe of when a new government is expected to be formed if the poll agency announces the names of elected constituency MPs by next Tuesday and party-list MPs by next Wednesday.

Based on this schedule, parliament must convene its first meeting within 15 days of at least 95% of the poll results being announced. Moreover, the list of all 250 senators must be submitted for royal endorsement within three days of the poll results being endorsed, Mr Wissanu said.

After parliament convenes its first meeting, the first step will be for the House of Representatives and the Senate to hold separate meetings to choose their respective speakers, the deputy premier added.

When the House Speaker and the Senate Speaker are royally endorsed, the House Speaker, who serves as the president of the parliament, will decide when a joint sitting of MPs and senators will be held to choose a prime minister, Mr Wissanu said.

"Based on this timeframe, the newly chosen prime minister is expected to form a cabinet in June," Mr Wissa­nu said.

Meanwhile, EC deputy secretary-general Nat Laosisawakul also said that the poll agency would announce the names of elected constituency MPs next Tuesday. Meanwhile, next Wednesday, the office would propose the list-MP calculation formula for consideration to use it to endorse those MPs, he said.

Mr Nat said that it was up to the EC to decide whether to endorse the party-list MPs or whether it should wait for the Constitutional Court to deliver its ruling next Wednesday on the constitutionality of the EC's formula to calculate party-list MPs.

An EC source earlier said that a total of 27 parties should receive at least one party-list MP based on the EC's calculation method.

The formula adheres to the calculation method initiated by the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), the source said.

However, it appears to favour small parties garnering fewer votes than the number required to get a seat under the complicated mixed-member apportionment system, according to political observers.

The source said that an EC meeting on Tuesday had resolved to endorse and announce constituency MPs by next Tuesday and the party-list MPs the following day.

The Constitutional Court on Thursday also accepted the Office of the Ombudsman's request for a ruling on the constitutionality of the EC's formula to calculate party-list MPs for political parties and will rule on May 8.

The Ombudsman's office asked it to rule if the calculation formula in Section 128 of the organic law on the election of MPs contradicts the method in Section 91 of the constitution.

The request by the Ombudsman's office was based on a petition submitted to the office by Wiratana Kalayasiri, former MP of the Democrat Party.

The court said the case did not need to go to trial because it concerned legal content. However, the court required documents relating to the CDC's consideration of Section 91 of the constitution, and Section 128 of the law on election of MPs, and documents from a National Legislative Assembly committee which scrutinised the law.

The court is to receive the documents by next Tuesday and is set to convene the following day at 9.30am to make a ruling.

On the issue of party-list allocation, the Ombudsman's office was of the opinion that the formula outlined in the law on the election of MPs was different from what is stipulated in the constitution.

The constitution also provides a calculation method for the "quota" of party-list MPs, while the MP law adds the phrase "initial quota".

The issue of which formula should be used in calculating the number of party-list MPs for each party is crucial after unofficial results showed that the anti-coup coalition had managed to gain only a few seats more than the pro-military side.

While one formula would give the anti-regime side the advantage in numbers to form the government, the other formula would give the pro-regime side the upper hand.

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