Crucial organic laws could be passed by July

Crucial organic laws could be passed by July

Changes set to trigger calls for election

The process of revising two organic laws and enacting them could be wrapped up by next July when pressure will pile up on the government to dissolve the House, according to Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam.

The two organic laws -- one governing the election of MPs and the other on political parties -- are being fixed in tandem with the constitutional amendment reverting the single-ballot election system to dual ballots, one for electing constituency MPs and the other for party-list MPs.

All eyes are focused on when parliament will finish revising the two laws as expectations are high that a general election will follow their completion.

On Wednesday, Mr Wissanu, a government legal expert, said the revision process, from start to finish, and royal endorsement of the two amended laws will likely be concluded by July.

The deputy prime minister said revising an organic law is more complicated than rewriting other laws. In this case, the two laws must be referred to the Election Commission (EC) to seek its mandatory input for incorporation into the amendment.

After parliament finishes scrutinising the laws, they will be put to the EC which will decide whether there should be further changes.

Parliament will have to adopt the EC-proposed changes even if they are in conflict with those approved by the House earlier, according to Mr Wissanu.

Running through the timeline, the deputy prime minister said an extraordinary parliamentary meeting will be convened in April to deliberate the revision of the two laws.

After that, the revised laws will be forwarded for the King's endorsement within 90 days or by July at the latest.

Mr Wissanu said he has told the cabinet that politics would likely heat up after the revisions have been sealed in place.

Political parties will likely turn up the pressure on the government to dissolve the House and call an election when the two laws are rectified.

"It's something the government will have to prepare for," Mr Wissanu said.

He added it might save time if the parties were to discuss changes to the two laws and reach some common ground before they are sent to the House for deliberation.

Also to be debated is whether a party's candidates will be allocated the same polling number in all constituencies in the next general election.

Mr Wissanu said lawmakers would have to finalise the issue, although he noted it is impractical for candidates of the same party to have different polling numbers in different constituencies.

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