Dual ballots set for comeback

Dual ballots set for comeback

Two organic laws to be amended to reflect the changes in the election system will likely cover four key areas including the calculation of votes needed to win a party list seat, according to the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP).

The two laws — one on the elections of MPs and the other on political parties — will be altered in tandem with the recent charter amendment which reverts the country back to the two-ballot election system, as opposed to a single ballot method at present. 

PPRP deputy leader Paiboon Nititawan said yesterday proposed changes to the two organic laws have been floated. 

However, the proposed changes would first need to be brought for discussion with the government and opposition whips before they can be put to parliament for scrutiny.

The changes will likely boil down to four areas, according to Mr Paiboon, who formerly chaired the House committee on charter amendment.

First, the number of constituency MPs will be reduced from the current 400 to 350 and the list MPs from 150 at present down to 100. 

Second, the MP election organic law will be rewritten to accommodate the dual-ballot system. One ballot is for choosing a constituency MP and the other for a list MP. 

Third, a new method associated with calculating how many votes a candidate needs to win in order to land a list seat will be determined. It will be calculated in proportion to the overall list votes cast nationwide.  

Fourth, there will be a common election number for candidates and their parties, and candidates will use the same polling numbers nationwide as happened under the 2011 constitution which also used a dual-ballot system.

Mr Paiboon added the proposed rewriting of the two organic laws has been worked out and was ready to be presented to parliament in the next several days. 

The proposed changes are modelled on the 2011 charter where the number of list MPs was calculated based on the voter turnout. 

He said the PPRP is in support of a method which tentatively determines that a party will be allocated a list seat for every 320,000 votes cast for that party. 

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