Two-ballot laws enter final stage

© Post Publishing PCL

Two-ballot laws enter final stage

Parliament expects submissions in weeks

The amended versions of two organic laws essential for implementing the new election system are expected to enter parliament early next month, said Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam.

Emerging from a weekly cabinet meeting, Mr Wissanu ran through a busy schedule for amending the two laws — one on the election of MPs and the other on political parties.

The organic laws are being rewritten to reflect constitutional changes that will restore the two-ballot election.

One ballot is for electing constituency MPs and the other is for choosing a party.

Mr Wissanu said the Election Commission (EC) was working to amend the two laws. He said he could not tell when the rewritten versions would be completed and presented to the cabinet for consideration.

He said he was aware the EC was gathering public input on them. The deadline for that falls next week, after which time the Council of State, the government’s legal arm, will step in to vet their legality.

Next week, the EC and the government whip will be invited to discuss the modifications in detail and fine-tune any outstanding issues.

Meanwhile, Chartthaipattana party-list MP Nikorn Chamnong said legal experts at the parliament secretariat office will examine the recommended changes by coalition parties tomorrow.

A tentative plan would see the amendment drafts submitted at the end of this month at the earliest, according to the MP, who is Chartthaipattana’s expert on legal affairs.

He said the MP election law was the less troublesome of the two because the changes follow what is stipulated in the charter.

The other law on political parties is more complicated, given the potential for disagreements over the changes between and within political parties, he said.

The calculation of the party-list MPs was being modelled on the political parties law used in 2011 when the two-ballot method still applied. After that, the single-ballot system was introduced where votes of defeated constituency poll candidates were compiled and translated into party-list MPs of respective political parties.