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The Election Commission awards 27 parties with seats in the new parliament

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PHOTO: The Thai PM warms up for the next round of musical chairs in the new Parliament

“Someone has moved the goal posts and changed the soccer ball to a golf ball.”

The new Thai parliament has now officially become unworkable, and that’s before anyone even sits down to take a vote.

Today the Election Commission awarded 26 political parties (that’s more than 25 and just shy of 27) party-list seats in the lower house. The most number of political parties sitting in a Thai parliament before was 11.

The commission says the winning parties range from Future Forward, who came in first place at 50 seats, to small parties like Thai Civilised (who?) and New Palangdharma (who?) who have been awarded one seat each in the new parliament.

Pheu Thai won the largest number of constituency seats but failed to win any party-list seats. So that’s a grand total of 27 political parties who will be present in the new lower house. Such a fragmented and diverse range of parties are unlikely to agree on anything.

The decision of the Election Commission, backed with the authority of the Constitutional Court, is a bit like modern race day in a western public school where EVERYONE gets a medal simply for turning up.
The Commission is yet to release the final numbers but confirmed that one seat will be allocated to every 30,000 votes, reduced from the earlier threshold set by the Commission of 71,000 votes.
“The previous quota turned out to be untenable because it would have resulted in fewer than 150 party-list seats. As such, a lower threshold was adopted,” said a spokesperson for the EC today.
Commissioner Somchai Sawaengkan then made the remark… “We have done everything in accordance with the law,” just in case anyone was wondering.
“If anyone believes we did not act within the law, they can proceed with legal actions.”
As of Wednesday night political parties are lining up to do precisely that. They say the downsized quota is a change in the rules set by the Election Commission when voters went to the polls in March. Someone has moved the goal posts and changed the soccer ball to a golf ball.

 

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