Dual-ballot format set for submission to Chuan

Dual-ballot format set for submission to Chuan

Parliament president Chuan Leekpai. (File photo)
Parliament president Chuan Leekpai. (File photo)

Amendments to two organic laws to accommodate the dual-ballot elections are expected to be wrapped up and put before parliament president Chuan Leekpai on May 24, according to Sathit Pitutecha, chairman of the panel scrutinising the two laws.

Running through the timeline on Tuesday, Mr Sathit said the draft amendments will be revised for the last time on Wednesday when differences in the content of the drafts will be ironed out and lawmakers with differing opinions are invited to explain their positions.

Tomorrow, the scrutiny committee will conduct a final check of the drafts and proofread them. On May 24, the two drafts will be submitted to Mr Chuan who will then pass them on to parliament for detailed deliberation.

Members of the media are also asked to attend a session aimed at familiarising them with the draft amendments.

The drafts seeking to amend the organic laws -- one on political parties and the other on the election of MPs -- were fraught with content that divided lawmakers.

Mr Sathit, who is also deputy public health minister, said it is not clear when Mr Chuan will table the drafts for debate in parliament, it is expected to be very soon after he receives them from the panel, as they are regarded as high-priority pieces of legislation.

Mr Sathit said he was confident they will clear both Houses since they have gone through many improvements.

Meanwhile, Nikorn Chamnong, secretary of the scrutiny panel, said 16 lawmakers -- three senators, three government MPs and 10 opposition MPs -- will attend Wednesday's final session to settle their differences once and for all.

Some committee members are at loggerheads over how the primaries will be conducted to select party candidates in a general election, the separate numbers to be designated to constituency and party-list MP candidates and the minimum number of votes a party has to win in order to get a list MP seat.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Sathit said the scrutiny committee has opted for the use of 100 to divide the number of party-list votes gained by all parties nationwide as proposed by major parties, instead of 500 as preferred by small parties.

Mr Sathit insisted the use of 500 would defy the constitution which has been modified to serve the dual-ballot method. He believed no one would seek a constitutional interpretation over the issue, which would only complicate and delay the amendments.

The number 100 comes from the total party-list MPs while 500 refers to all the constituency and party-list MPs.

However, sources said committee members who favour the use of 500 are set to challenge the calculation method approved by the committee when draft amendments to the law on the election of MPs go to parliament for deliberation. Those who favour 500 include a group of small coalition partners led by the New Palangdharma Party.

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