Connect with us

Election

Election: The problems ahead, Tuesday

Tim Newton

Published

on

Election: The problems ahead, Tuesday | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The political dance of horse-trading begins. Prayut Chan-o-cha in campaign mode

And so we awake on the second day since the election. With 95% of votes counted we’re in firm territory now as far as voting trends are concerned . So we can start guessing which way the new parliament might be formed. Here are the main issues for Tuesday.

The missing NZ ballots

The Election Commission will meet today to decide what to do with the ‘invalid’ ballots delivered late to polling booths. In one example, the Thai Embassy in New Zealand and Thai Airways have both defended their situation saying they did everything correctly by getting the votes sorted and delivered in time. Whether the votes are included or not will come down to decision from the Election Commission. The bottomline, the votes won’t change the big picture although we are sure the expats voting in New Zealand would like their votes to be counted.

The Election Commission

The body tasked with running the election, counting and collating the votes have come under attack from all sides. From minor lapses in security, a few poorly handled situations in booths to some more major accusations that are currently being investigated by police. The overseas observers have not been particularly impressed by the EC’s performance either citing a number of small issues at booths around the country.

But the EC’s biggest battles are yet to come as they will be forced to adjudicate on who has the right to form a coalition. Both Pheu Thai and Palang Pracharat maintain they have the ‘right’ to form a lower house government. Just imagine all the late night phone calls criss-crossing the country at the moment?!

We won’t even get started on the petition to oust the Election Commission which has already gained over 600,000 signatures.

The coalition

No one party will have an outright majority to form a government. Both Palang Pracharat and Pheu Thai will have to do deal with ‘hostiles’ in order to make up the numbers to form a lower house government. There are very few combinations of parties coming together where a LOT of distance will have to be covered to merge their competing policy differences.

Future Forward, the party with the third highest total seats, has little common ground with Pheu Thai, apart from wanting to rid the country of the military government. They’re even further, terminally separated really, from Palang Pracharat.

Future Forward has laid down three conditions for a coalition, based on its campaign pledges – to rewrite the constitution, eliminate the legacy of military coups and push for military reform so coups won’t happen again. Their 80+ votes would push Pheu Thai into an extremely strong position to form a government.

But the Democrats and BumJaiThai are likely more accommodating to negotiation, although seeing the Democrats side with Pheu Thai, once mortal political enemies, would be a long-shot. It’s more likely the Democrats would, if pushed, side with Palang Pracharat with their 53 lower house seats.

BumJaiThai is more complex to predict which way they will side. Their 51 or so seats will be a powerful swing, whichever way they go.

The other smaller parties, together, add up to a crucial buffer for one party or the other.

Most likely scenario

Casting our eyes into the political crystal ball (always dangerous in Thai politics), The Thaiger thinks that the Pheu Thai party is the more likely to be able to form a government – either with a decent majority (with BumJaiThai giving them their votes) or with the merest of slim majorities if BJT side with Palang Pracharat. Either way Pheu Thai are going to have to let some of their power slip to accommodate the other parties. And you can be assured that Thaksin is sitting comfortably, still in exile, crunching numbers and overseeing the discussions.

Even if this happens, the pro-military Senators may ignore the lower house mandate (if Pheu Thai pull it together) and side with Palang Pracharat to install Prayut as the PM of a new minority Government.

This would be highly unstable with almost all legislation being voted down in the lower house and needing both houses to sit to pass any new legislation. It wouldn’t be pretty.

The Thai elephant in the room

The Election Commission announced yesterday that they wouldn’t announce the official results of the election until… are you ready… May 9! That’s after the coronation of HM The King.

Whether parties can legally negotiate until the official results of the March 24 have been announced is a moot point – they already have.

The Coronation will therefore take place with a caretaker government and that point hasn’t even come up for discussion yet.

Thai elephant in the room II

Thaksin Shinawatra would be disappointed that his Pheu Thai government didn’t poll better but he’s already stated the bleeding obvious; that the system was specifically rigged to lessen the chances of yet another Pheu Thai victory. Despite living in exile, his political cunning will be felt in the coming weeks as he cobbles together a Pheu Thai coalition with other parties.

 



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,900 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 360 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and is now CEO and writer for The Thaiger - Website, Radio, TV, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. He presented for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and provides stories for Feature Story News as the south east Asian correspondent.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Election

Thanathorn says he’s confident he won’t be penalised by the EC

The Thaiger

Published

on

Thanathorn says he’s confident he won’t be penalised by the EC | The Thaiger

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the leader of Future Forward Party, says he’s confident he won’t be penalised by the Election Commission over allegations he breached the Constitution and the election by holding shares in a media company, V Luck Media, when registering for the March 24 election.

Thanathorn says he will submit his defence with the commission by next Monday and insists on his innocence.

Thanathorn is dismissing the possibility that he could be penalised by the EC by being barred from running in elections for one year, leading to his being disqualified as an MP.

The commission sent Thanathorn a formal notice on Wednesday that he was charged for breaching the Constitution and the MP election law after he was allegedly found to be in possession of 675,000 shares in the media firm when he registered his election candidacy. Thanathorn was given seven days to respond to the charge.

The Constitution and the MPs Election Act forbid poll candidates from being proprietors or share-holders of media companies. Thanathorn insisted that he had transferred all the shares to his mother prior to his candidacy registration and dismissed  the charge against him as part of what he described as “politics of personal destruction.”

The Future Forward Party came in third place, behind Pheu Thai and Phalang Pracharat, and ahead of the Democrats, in votes from the March 24 poll. The party was only formed in the last year and put up the fiery 41 year old as its leader and prime ministerial candidate.

Continue Reading

Bangkok

Thanathorn faces more charges from EC over media shares

The Thaiger & The Nation

Published

on

Thanathorn faces more charges from EC over media shares | The Thaiger

Future Forward’s Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the 40 year old leader of the new party, has cut short his trip to Europe over an ‘unexpected incident’

The Thai Election Commission yesterday unanimously resolved to press charges against Thanathorn over an alleged violation of Thai media shareholding rules.

Citing investigations by two EC panels, Sawang Boonmee, the EC deputy secretary-general, told a press conference that Thanathorn had allegedly violated the law by owning or holding 675,000 shares in V-Luck Media Company while registering as a candidate for the general election.

“Thanathorn’s share certificate number is from 1350001 to 2025000,” said Sawang, referring to the findings of two panels the EC had set up to investigate the case.

Thanathorn has been accused of contravening the electoral laws that state a shareholder in a media company is barred from contesting an election for member of parliament, according to the EC. The action is punishable by disqualification. The case was filed by Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of the Association for Protection of the Thai Constitution, on March 25.

An EC source said the agency had yet to suspend Thanathorn’s right to contest in elections for one year or give him an “orange” card, as it was just an initial charge. Thanathorn will have seven days to give testimony or submit documents in his defence to the EC, Sawang said, adding his lawyers would also be allowed to witness the trial.

After the testimony, the EC will finalise the case as soon as possible in order to finish it before May 9 when it will announce the election results.

Thanathorn, whose party is tipped to win around 80 MP seats in the new lower house, was on the way back from his tour to Europe. He posted on his Facebook page yesterday that he had been notified to quickly return to Thailand to face an “unexpected incident”.

Future Forward secretary-general, Piyabutr Saengkanokkul has questioned the EC’s decision, saying the poll agency needs to wait until Thanathorn is endorsed as an MP before it can question his qualification.

Meanwhile, Raksagecha Chaechai, secretary-general of the Office of Ombudsman, said the EC had until today (Wednesday) to submit an explanation to the office regarding a petition seeking an annulment of the March 24 election.

The office last week resolved to accept the petition filed by the now-defunct Thai Raksa Chart Party’s former MP candidate, Reungkrai Leekijwatana, who asked the office to submit its opinion to the Administrative Court or the Constitutional Court regarding whether last month’s election should be annulled.

Thanathorn faces more charges from EC over media shares | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

Continue Reading

Bangkok

New Economics Party clarifies their support for pro-democracy coalition

The Thaiger & The Nation

Published

on

New Economics Party clarifies their support for pro-democracy coalition | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Mingkwan Sangsuwan, New Economics Party leader – The Nation

Leader of the New Economics Party Mingkwan Sangsuwan hasy reiterated his party’s intention to join with the pro-democracy coalition (Pheu Thai, Future Forward) and against the pro-junta party, Phalang Pracharat.

Amid uncertainty over which camp New Economics would work with after the election, Mingkwan has clarified he would not join with Phalang Pracharat because of “ideological differences”.

Six New Economics candidates were elected in the March 24 poll. Mingkwan gave assurances at today’s press conference that none of the new MPs would defect. The party’s deputy leader, Supadit Argadriks, also repeated the party’s intent to help uphold democracy with a constitutional monarchy, and live up to its pledge to voters.

Some of the party’s members yesterday petitioned the Election Commission to dissolve the party, alleging it had fallen under outside influences related to powerful business interests. But the deputy leader insisted today that the party was united. He said the complaint had stemmed from a misunderstanding.

Supadit said legal action would be taken against the plaintiffs who filed the petition with the EC.

SOURCE: The Nation

Continue Reading

The Thaiger Newsletter

Keep up with all the day’s news. Subscribe here.

The latest news and information from Thailand.

* indicates required
หนุ่มนิติปี 1 โพสต์เฟซบุ๊กลาโลก ก่อนผู้คอดับในหอพัก ม.ดัง | The Thaiger
ข่าวไทย1 day ago

หนุ่มนิติปี 1 โพสต์เฟซบุ๊กลาโลก ก่อนผู้คอดับในหอพัก ม.ดัง

สาวลำปางกรี๊ด โรคจิตคุกเข่าช่วยตัวเองข้างเก๋งแดง นี่ไม่ใช่ครั้งแรก | The Thaiger
ภาคเหนือ1 day ago

สาวลำปางกรี๊ด โรคจิตคุกเข่าช่วยตัวเองข้างเก๋งแดง นี่ไม่ใช่ครั้งแรก

คลิปวินาที “บิ๊กป้อม” ปรี๊ดแตก หลังนักข่าวถามเรื่องทรัพย์สินในต่างประเทศ | The Thaiger
ข่าวการเมือง1 day ago

คลิปวินาที “บิ๊กป้อม” ปรี๊ดแตก หลังนักข่าวถามเรื่องทรัพย์สินในต่างประเทศ

อัปเดต: สรุปเหตุการณ์ “เค ร้อยล้าน” คลั่งเทงู-สับหัวตัวเองกลางแยกราชประสงค์ [คลิป] | The Thaiger
ข่าว1 day ago

อัปเดต: สรุปเหตุการณ์ “เค ร้อยล้าน” คลั่งเทงู-สับหัวตัวเองกลางแยกราชประสงค์ [คลิป]

อัปเดตแผ่นดินไหวฟิลิปปินส์ เขย่าตึกถล่ม ตายแล้ว 8 ศพ | The Thaiger
ต่างประเทศ3 days ago

อัปเดตแผ่นดินไหวฟิลิปปินส์ เขย่าตึกถล่ม ตายแล้ว 8 ศพ

เขย่าเกาะฟิลิปปินส์ แผ่นดินไหวขนาด 6.3 ตึกไหวสะเทือน ตายแล้ว 5 ราย | The Thaiger
ต่างประเทศ4 days ago

เขย่าเกาะฟิลิปปินส์ แผ่นดินไหวขนาด 6.3 ตึกไหวสะเทือน ตายแล้ว 5 ราย

K-POP : BTS พาอัลบั้มใหม่ฉายแสงทั่วโลก พร้อมทุบสถิติใหม่รัว ๆ | The Thaiger
BTS5 days ago

K-POP : BTS พาอัลบั้มใหม่ฉายแสงทั่วโลก พร้อมทุบสถิติใหม่รัว ๆ

ตรวจหวย ตรวจสลากกินแบ่งรัฐบาล งวด วันที่ 16 เมษายน 2562 | The Thaiger
ตรวจหวย5 days ago

ตรวจหวย ตรวจสลากกินแบ่งรัฐบาล งวด วันที่ 16 เมษายน 2562

[Live] มิ่งขวัญ แสงสุวรรณ์ แถลงข้อเท็จจริง กรณี ส.ส. พรรคเศรษฐกิจใหม่ยื่นยุบพรรคตัวเอง : เลือกตั้ง 2562 | The Thaiger
เลือกตั้ง 627 days ago

[Live] มิ่งขวัญ แสงสุวรรณ์ แถลงข้อเท็จจริง กรณี ส.ส. พรรคเศรษฐกิจใหม่ยื่นยุบพรรคตัวเอง : เลือกตั้ง 2562

คดีพลิก! คลิปแดดลำปางร้อนทอดไข่ดาวสุก หนุ่มถ่ายคลิปรับใส่น้ำมันตั้งเตาก่อน | The Thaiger
ข่าว1 week ago

คดีพลิก! คลิปแดดลำปางร้อนทอดไข่ดาวสุก หนุ่มถ่ายคลิปรับใส่น้ำมันตั้งเตาก่อน

ตัวอย่าง Game of Thrones Season 8  ตอนที่ 2 | The Thaiger
ตัวอย่าง1 week ago

ตัวอย่าง Game of Thrones Season 8 ตอนที่ 2

แก๊งวัยรุ่นตีกันงานสงกรานต์ พาพวกตะลุมบอนต่อหน้าห้องฉุกเฉินโรงพยาบาล | The Thaiger
ข่าว1 week ago

แก๊งวัยรุ่นตีกันงานสงกรานต์ พาพวกตะลุมบอนต่อหน้าห้องฉุกเฉินโรงพยาบาล

สงกรานต์หรือสงคราม ถือพร้าคว้ามีดจะอาบเลือดแทนน้ำ [คลิป] | The Thaiger
ข่าว1 week ago

สงกรานต์หรือสงคราม ถือพร้าคว้ามีดจะอาบเลือดแทนน้ำ [คลิป]

ไฟไหม้ “วิหารนอเทรอดาม” อายุ 850 ยอดหักพังถล่ม กรุงปารีส ฝรั่งเศส | The Thaiger
ต่างประเทศ1 week ago

ไฟไหม้ “วิหารนอเทรอดาม” อายุ 850 ยอดหักพังถล่ม กรุงปารีส ฝรั่งเศส

ฉายแล้ววันนี้ Game of Thrones ซีซั่น 8 ep.01 | The Thaiger
ฉายแล้ว2 weeks ago

ฉายแล้ววันนี้ Game of Thrones ซีซั่น 8 ep.01

Trending