Pheu Thai organic law amendment to be tabled 'this month'

Pheu Thai organic law amendment to be tabled 'this month'

A bill to amend the organic law on the election of MPs backed by the Pheu Thai Party is expected to be tabled for a first reading in parliament this month, House Speaker Chuan Leekpai said.

Mr Chuan said the bill is undergoing a public hearing as required by Section 77 of the constitution to ensure public participation in the push to amend the law.

Since the law also involves financial matters, the bill must be endorsed by the prime minister before it can be put on parliament's agenda, Mr Chuan added.

Other versions of the bill, such as the ones proposed by the Move Forward Party, government coalition parties and Pol Col Tawee Sodsong, an MP of Prachachat Party, will also be subject to the same process, the House Speaker said.

"In principle, when any of the version passes the public hearing process, other versions which contain similar contents won't need any further public hearings and can be put on parliament's agenda," Mr Chuan said.

If the version proposed by the Pheu Thai, which is the main opposition party, passes the process and is endorsed by the prime minister, it can be forwarded to the parliament for a first reading this month, Mr Chuan said.

As for draft amendments to the organic law on political parties -- which do not involve financial matters -- they can be tabled in parliament straight away after a public hearing, he said.

The amendments to the two organic laws are intended to reflect constitutional changes in the election system. The push to restore the two-ballot electoral system was royally endorsed and published in the Royal Gazette on Nov 21.

Under the changes, the number of constituency MPs would be increased from 350 to 400 while the number of list MPs would be decreased from 150 to 100.

Two ballots will be used in future polls, one for choosing a constituency MP and the other for a list MP, marking a departure from the single-ballot method used in the 2019 general election.

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

Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew said usually versions of draft amendments which share similar principles will be accepted in the first reading, except any version which contains provisions that may risk violating the constitution, which will be rejected.

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