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Election Commission admits they haven’t decided on the formula to determine lower house



by Kas Chanwanpen

In a stunning admission yesterday, the Election Commission admitted they didn’t know the exact formula to work out the final make up of the lower house seats. The Election Commission secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma says that he expected the agency to make a decision this week on their interpretation of the new Charter that sets out, broadly, how the numbers should be crunched.

The EC says they will listen to all opinions, including ex-charter drafters and former members of the National Legislative Council.

Though the commissioners have yet to agree on a particular method of calculation, he said they will have to go by what is stipulated by the Charter and related laws.

At least two calculations, based on different interpretations of the law, are being advanced. One formula allows as many as 11 small parties to gain at least one seat in Parliament, while the other allocates seats to bigger parties that have gained a bigger share of votes.

The formula the EC opts for will have a big impact on the formation of the government and will determine if the pro- or anti-junta camps control the new Lower House. Politicians and the public have been pushing the agency to reveal the calculation method that it will use.

Jarungvith has said the EC will listen to all arguments and will also study relevant laws before answering the public.

“Remember, the EC did not draw up these laws; it’s only the enforcer,” he said.

“And we haven’t started calculating yet.”

Members of the now-defunct Constitution Drafting Commission and National Legislative Assembly will be invited to provide input on the matter, he said, adding the EC will make an announcement as soon as it reaches a conclusion.

“No matter what, we have to announce and endorse the election results by May 9,” he said, referring to the deadline set by the Constitution.

“We are not pressured by this calculation issue. We just have to go by the law.”

SOURCE: The Nation


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