EC to choose from 3 electoral maps

EC to choose from 3 electoral maps

At least three draft electoral maps will be drawn and put up for public input before the Election Commission (EC) makes its pick and finalises constituency designation work ahead of the next poll, according to a source at the EC.

Electoral boundaries must be redrawn for every general election to account for population changes, and this time the number of constituencies will increase from 350 to 400, said the source.

As soon as the EC's regulation on electoral boundaries takes effect, provincial election offices will present at least three draft maps to gather feedback from stakeholders, including voters and parties, said the source.

The regulation will serve as a guideline for provincial election offices to draw up electoral boundaries for the 400 constituency MPs nationwide.

Each of the proposed maps must take into consideration social and geographic factors and provide the population update as well as the number of people represented per MP.

With the total population now at 66,090,475, the number of people represented per MP is 165,226.

According to the source, the public consultation process will take up to 10 days and the provincial EC offices will analyse the findings and submit them to the EC for consideration.

The EC must choose the electoral maps that meet the criteria while taking into account demographic changes, public participation and voter convenience. The electoral maps will be published in the Royal Gazette.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said he is not in a position to intervene in the wake of reports that the EC needs time to prepare for the elections due to the new regulation.

EC secretary-general Sawaeng Boonmee told Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam on Monday that the redrawing of the electoral map was not complete.

This is seen as a hint that the House cannot be dissolved too soon even though the two organic laws on elections are now in force.

Gen Prayut said the EC's message was relayed to the cabinet but insisted the issue has nothing to do with the government.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration plans to request 48 million baht from the EC to fund election preparations, said a source at City Hall.

Of this, 16 million baht will be spent on raising political awareness, and the rest used to support the EC in organising elections in the capital.

Of the four million eligible voters in Bangkok, one-quarter are expected to register for advanced voting.

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