By Thai Newsroom Reporters
THE ELECTION COMMISSION has been still waiting for the Ministry of Interior to rearrange the country’s 400 electoral constituencies so that the polling agency could promptly proceed with preparations for the next general election, said a senior official today (Dec.21).
Election Commission secretary-general Sawaeng Boonmee confirmed his agency cannot do much at the moment about electoral preparations in any constituencies nationwide whilst the Ministry of Interior will have rearranged them all by January 10 at the latest.
The next general election for MPs will be contested in 400 individual constituencies throughout the country, compared to 350 constituencies provided in a previous one, thus calling for the rearrangement in corresponding proportion to 400 constituency-based MPs. In addition, another 100 party-listed MPs will be simultaneously elected on a separate voting ballot to make a total of 500 MPs.
Given the increased number of individual constituencies, the whole area of campaigning for each electoral candidate vying in constituency-based mode will certainly be smaller than in the 2019 election.
According to the Election Commission secretary-general, the polling agency would not be provided enough time to prepare the nationwide election, given the increased number of constituencies if the House of Representatives was dissolved anytime soon.
The House dissolution which may occur on any day ahead of March 24, the date on which the House’s four-year term is scheduled to end, will be followed by a general election in 60 days’ time as provided by law.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has recently repeated his intention to live out the four-year term of the House until late March alongside his design to prolong his rule for two more years after the general election which would be otherwise held in 45 days’ time.
Nevertheless, Palang Pracharath MP Veerakorn Khamprakop forecast that Prayut will likely dissolve the House about a week or two to preclude an otherwise completion of its term only to give the MPs who may have contemplated hopping over from one party to another enough time to have registered themselves as members of their new camp for a minimum of 30 days ahead of the election date.
But the lawmakers will be legally obliged to have been attached to a certain party for a minimum of 90 days ahead of the election date in case that the House’s term may be otherwise fully consumed.
Top: Thai election graphic. Credit: Matichon
Front Page: Election Commission secretary-general Sawaeng Boonmee. Photo: Thai Rath