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Former EC commissioner foresees "deadlock"

Former commissioner of the Election Commission (EC) Sodsri Sattayatham

Former commissioner of the Election Commission (EC) Sodsri Sattayatham

Former commissioner of the Election Commission (EC) Sodsri Sattayatham expressed Sunday her concerns that the election may end up with the fewer-than-required number of MPs.

She feared that as candidacy registrations are blocked in some provinces, the number of MPs would fall short of 95 per cent - the threshold required to open the Parliament.

Registrations in the seven southern provinces which have 32 constituencies are still blocked by anti-government protesters. Thailand’s House of Representatives is made up of 375 members from single constituency elections and 125 members from "proportional representation" by party lists.

Sodsri noted that without candidacy in only 25 constituencies, the number of MPs would be fewer than 95 per cent due to Thailand’s "proportional representation" method.

Sodsri noted that while she was in office, the Election Commission faced a similar problem when no candidates showed up in the by-elections, following the resignation of Democrat MPs in the South. Under the current election law, there is no clause to end this "deadlock".

Then, the Election Commission was prepared to have the Auditor General’s Office seek an answer from the Constitutional Court, she said.

Meanwhile, caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan Sunday urged political parties’ candidates unable to register for the February 2 election to file charges with police.

They are also advised to bring document for the registration to the Election Commission.

Charupong also said that any persons blocking the registration should be aware of the 1-year imprisonment penalty and the 10-year statutory limit.


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