Poll system laws on House agenda

Poll system laws on House agenda

Two ballots could be used in next election

House Speaker Chuan Leekpai said on Monday he is ready to put on the parliament agenda proposed amendments to two organic laws to reflect constitutional changes in the election system.

Mr Chuan was speaking after the constitutional amendment bill seeking to restore the two-ballot electoral system was royally endorsed and published in the Royal Gazette on Sunday.

Under the charter amendment, the number of constituency MPs is reduced from the current 400 to 350 and the list MPs from 150 at present to 100.

Two ballots will be used in national polls, one of which is for choosing a constituency MP and the other for a list MP.

It marks a departure from the single-ballot method used in the previous 2019 general election.

To reflect the charter changes, two organic laws governing the elections of MPs and political parties will be amended.

Mr Chuan said parliament is prepared to examine the planned amendments which will be put on the agenda as soon as they are ready.

He said the Election Commission (EC) is in charge of preparing the amendment drafts to be submitted by the government, but noted that MPs can also submit their own versions.

According to Mr Chuan, the EC has been working on the draft amendments since the charter proposal sailed through and the bills are likely to be submitted to parliament next month or January.

Mr Chuan admitted, however, that there would be complications in case the House was dissolved before the amendments to the two organic laws were passed into laws, as the charter amendment stipulates that the new election system will be enforced in the next elections.

Meanwhile, Cholnan Srikaew, leader of the main opposition Pheu Thai Party, said on Monday the opposition bloc expects to submit the proposed amendments to the two organic laws within this week.

He said Pheu Thai has prepared its own versions and that the opposition partners are welcome to sign in support of the party's versions of the organic laws' amendments.

Chusak Sirinil, chief of Pheu Thai's legal affairs committee, said the calculation and distribution of party-list MPs will be modelled on the method used in the 2011 election when the two-ballot system was still in use.

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