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Election

The EC’s magic formulae. Thais want to know how it all works.

The Thaiger & The Nation

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The EC’s magic formulae. Thais want to know how it all works. | The Thaiger

by Kas Chanwanpen

More confusion today, nine days after after the national ballot, as multiple formulae have been cited to come up with a tally on the number of MPs each party would have.

Meanwhile, authorities appear reluctant to clear the air.

Political scientist Stithorn Thananithichot warns that this confusion could lead to lawsuits which will further complicate post-poll politics.

In a Chulalongkorn University live-stream, Stithorn explained that currently at least two formulae can be used to calculate the number of MPs each party was entitled to. One formula allows several small parties to each gain a seat in the Lower House, while the other allocates seats to bigger parties based on the number of votes won.

The uncertainty, stemming from different interpretations of the law, will affect parties that have enough quota to get party-list MPs, the expert explained. He said Pheu Thai will not be affected because it has already won more constituency MPs than the calculation allows.

“But no matter which formula the Election Commission decides to use, there will be winners and losers.”

Stithorn says it is possible that some parties or candidates may petition the Constitutional Court for a ruling, a delay process that could make politics more difficult.

The final results on the number of MPs for by each party will become crucial for the formation of a coalition. The pro- and anti-junta camps are now in a neck-and-neck race with both of them having close to, or a little over 250 MPs, needed to form a legitimate government.

If the EC endorses the calculation that will allow over 10 MPs from different small parties into Parliament, it is speculated that they are more likely to back the pro-junta camp and put their rival at a disadvantage. While the agency has kept mum and insisted on finalising the matter in May in line with the deadline set by the relevant organic law, former EC member Somchai Srisuthiyakorn warned this could be vital for the commissioners.

In such a close win-lose situation, political parties will definitely approach the court, Somchai said. If it is proved that the commissioners had picked one formula over the other to favour a particular party, the punishment could be imprisonment, the former commissioner added.

Following this confusion, politicians and the public yesterday demanded that the agency disclose the calculation method that will be used to allocate MP seats. This was added to the previously unresponded demand for the agency to disclose voting data from each polling station and explain the discrepancies in figures.

SOURCE: The Nation

https://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30366948

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Election

Palang Pracharat are warned not to renege on Thai ministry promises

The Thaiger

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Palang Pracharat are warned not to renege on Thai ministry promises | The Thaiger

Amidst rumours circulating that the Palang Pracharat Party may renege on some of the promises it made to secure MP votes from the Democrats and Bhumjaithai, the Democrat party leader Jurin Laksanavisit says he believes the Palang Pracharat party will keep its promises.

Thepthai Senpong MP, a key Democrat party member, is warning that the coalition government will be in big trouble if the promise is broken. He says the coalition government would “function with great difficulty” if the Palang Pracharat party does not stick to the promises it made to the Democrats, according to Thai PBS.

Meanwhile, Somsak Thepsutin, one of the Sam Mitr faction within Palang Pracharat, says that if one of their group isn’t offered the agriculture minister’s post (reportedly offered to the Democrats as part of the ‘deal’), the promises they made with Thai voters during the election campaign could be affected.

Somsak has already spoken of his aspirations to become the next agriculture minister, despite the portfolio being used as a political football during negotiations with the Democrats.

But the new leader of the Democrats, Jurin Laksanavisit insists that the issue of the quota of ministries for his MPs has already been settled. He re-iterated yesterday that Palang Pracharat would not go back on its promises to the Democrats. He added that he had not been informed of any changes to their arrangements despite being aware of the media reports about the prevarication.

SOURCES: Thai PBS | The Nation

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Election

Palang Pracharat still quibbling over portfolios in the new Thai parliament

The Thaiger

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Palang Pracharat still quibbling over portfolios in the new Thai parliament | The Thaiger

Election – check. Vote for PM – check. New government sworn in – not quite yet.

There is still a reported back-room fight over cabinet portfolios between factions in the Palang Pracharat Party. Several key ministries were offered to Bhumjaithai and Democrat MPs in return for voting for Prayut Chan-o-cha as PM on Wednesday.

Now that Prayut’s been installed back behind the big desk at government house, there have been sources reporting wrangling and possible back-tracking over the promises made preceding the parliamentary vote on Wednesday.

  • The Democrats were promised the agriculture, commerce and social development ministries while the Bhumjaithai were reportedly offered the Transport Ministry post.
  • Palang Pracharat MPs claim that, as the leading party in the coalition, it should control key ministries to follow through on its election promises.
  • PPRP list MP Somsak Thepsuthin, a leading figure of the “Sam Mitr” faction in Palang Pracharat, claims the party needs control of the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry and that PM Prayut will have a final say on the matter (a notion that was flatly denied by the PPRP last week).
  • Palang Pracharat MP Buddhipongse Punnakanta admits the quota of cabinet posts for coalition parties “might” change but didn’t detail any of the Cabinet position affected, including the position of agriculture minister.
  • Newly elected House Speaker Chuan Leekpai, a former Democrat PM, waded into the issue yesterday saying he was sure that Palang Pracharat would honour the promises made in regards to Cabinet posts offered to the Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties.
  • Democrat leader Jurin Laksanavisit says the deal with the PPRP was singed and sealed and believes it would be honoured.
  • Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charvirakul says the agreement with the PPRP remains unchanged, and insisted the party will push for its election pledges to be implemented.
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Election

“We were robbed of victory” – Future Forward’s Thanathorn

The Thaiger

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“We were robbed of victory” – Future Forward’s Thanathorn | The Thaiger

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the 40 year old Future Forward leader who was up against Prayut Chan-o-cha for the position of PM yesterday, says that the pro-democracy alliance hasn’t conceded defeat but, he says, were “robbed of their victory”.

He is vowing to work harder outside parliament to prove that to the people.

“This election is just one battle in the long journey to achieve democracy. We fiercely believe that, in the end, our day will come. Dictatorship cannot resist the winds of change, the winds of democracy. The people will cry for freedom, cry for justice.”

Thanathorn was nominated by the Pheu Thai-led alliance as their sole PM candidate for yesterday’s vote, admitted that he had little hope that both the Democrat and the Bhumjaithai parties would make the “right decision”. Without their vote the Pheu Thai alliance wouldn’t have a majority in the lower house to make a stand (even though the Senate’s votes – 250 – would have carried Prayut Chan-o-cha over the finish line anyway). As it was he only missed winning the vote in the lower house by a handful of votes.

Thai PBS reports that, despite the election defeat, the firebrand young politician pleaded with all democracy advocates not to lose hope, but to move forward with him.

“I would like to tell my brothers and sisters that this is not our end, it is just the beginning,” he said, adding that the election result was a proof that they did not work hard enough and must strive harder.

“Future Forward party would divide its work and resources into three main areas; its MPs will undertake legislative work and check the performance of the government, the party will prepare for the forthcoming local elections and strengthen the party.”

SOURCE: Thai PBS

“We were robbed of victory” - Future Forward's Thanathorn | News by The Thaiger

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