Pheu Thai won't make quorum for election bill that favours small parties

Pheu Thai won't make quorum for election bill that favours small parties

Representatives and senators discuss election bills on June 9. (Photo: Parliament)
Representatives and senators discuss election bills on June 9. (Photo: Parliament)

The opposition-core Pheu Thai Party will not help make a quorum for the joint sitting of representatives and senators on Monday to vote on an election bill that would provide small political parties with the chance to win list-MP seats.

Pheu Thai MP for Bangkok and spokeswoman Theerarat Samretwanit said on Sunday that Pheu Thai MPs would voice their opposition to the bill's provision to calculate the numbers of list MPs for political parties by dividing all votes for list MPs by 500.

After the deliberation, Pheu Thai MPs would not confirm their presence to make a quorum for the vote on the bill, she said. The party has 133 MPs.

Ms Theerarat said if a vote is held on Monday and the bill is dropped, there will be no election law, just a political vacuum. If the House is dissolved, the present government can assume a caretaker role for a long time, she said.

On Friday parliament president Chuan Leekpai called a special joint meeting of MPs and senators to be held on Monday, the last chance for lawmakers to review the amendment of the election bill that supports the use of the number 500 as the divisor in calculating party-list seats.

The 500 divisor would give chances for small parties to win list MP seats because the minimum number of votes to win a list MP seat would be much smaller than with the 100 divisor in the original version of the bill.

Monday was the 180-day deadline for the bill to be passed.

If the bill is not endorsed within the 180-day deadline as required by the charter, the original version, sponsored by the cabinet and drafted by the Election Commission, will be considered approved by parliament. The original draft proposed the 100 divisor.


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