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BANGKOK 19 August 2019 04:37

2019 Thai general election: Know this before voting

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Know this before voting




An Election Commission staff member stands by a replica ballot booth at a voter- awareness event in Nonthaburi last year.


IN LESS than two months, and for the first time in eight years, voters will be heading to the polling booths to decide the country’s fate.


Here are the new rules under the current Constitution that everybody should know about: 




Mixed-Member Apportionment (MMA) electoral system


There are 350 constituency seats and 150 party-list seats up for grabs this election. Voters will cast a single ballot for a constituency candidate that will also count as a vote for that candidate’s party and be tallied in apportioning party-list seats. 


The total number of votes a party receives will determine the total number seats it gains in Parliament in a combination of constituency seats and party-list seats. 


Same party different number


Candidates from the same party will not run under the same number. Since it is a single-ballot electoral system, each candidate will have his or her own number. Voters can memorise the number of their preferred constituency candidate. The poll ballot will show the numbers of each candidate, along with their party names and logos.




Prime minister candidate list


The next prime minister may not necessarily come from among the elected MPs, but they must be nominated as candidates and be in the PM nomination list from political parties. Each party can submit up to three names to the Election Commission. 


Voters cannot directly cast a ballot for their favoured PM candidate, as the premier will only be chosen jointly by the House of Representatives and the Senate.


Voting for a PM


The 250 senators handpicked by the National Council for Peace and Order will join the 350 members of the House of Representatives to choose the next PM from lists submitted by parties that have won at least 5 per cent of the Lower House. The prospective premier needs at least 376 votes. 




Outsider or non-list PM


If the joint meeting fails to pick a PM, more than half of the members of both Houses – or 376 – can submit a joint petition to the Parliament’s president requesting that the assembly pass a resolution exempting them from being limited to party lists in choosing a PM. 


To pass the exemption, it needs at least two-thirds of the total number of members present in both Houses – or 500 votes.


An “outsider”, who is not on a party list, will be eligible to become the next PM if 376 votes can be garnered from both Houses.




‘Vote No’ 


Although the “vote no” option is not new to Thai voters, it will be a meaningful and powerful weapon during this election. 


If the “vote no” casts are higher than the number of votes won by the winner in a constituency, a new round of voting is required. All votes in that constituency will be nullified and candidates barred from running again in the new election. 




Poll watch


As many as 413 election inspectors in 77 provinces will be in charge of monitoring officers or staff in each polling unit, along with investigating actions deemed to be fraudulent or violating election laws. They will submit their findings to the Election Commission (EC). These inspectors were appointed by the EC to replace the provincial election commissioners. 




Ballot casting time 


Voters will have more time to cast their ballot, as polling booths will be open from 8am to 5pm, two hours longer than previous elections. 


Helping hand


The elderly and disabled will be allowed to take their relative, trusted person or an officer to the polling booth to help cast their ballot for them. 




Special power


The election will be held under a junta government that retained special powers under Article 44 of the post-coup interim charter and is also guaranteed under the current Constitution. Hence, NCPO chief Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha is eligible to issue any order under this power, including nullifying or cancelling the election in the event of an unexpected incidence. 


Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30364298



-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-02-18

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No idea why farangs must read this we dont vote?

  • Like 2

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Does the winning party get to keep article 44 or can it invent one of its own ? Very useful tool to have in the box.

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

An “outsider”, who is not on a party list, will be eligible to become the next PM if 376 votes can be garnered from both Houses.

Interesting...does this mean that Prayuth, now a party list candidate, can not become PM through the 'outsider PM' route?

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There will be "help" at the polls, as per usual. Vote early, vote often.

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29 minutes ago, mfd101 said:

Hard to see the un- and under-educated population of Thailand coping with the complexities of all that when they enter the polling booth. My MIL can't even sign her name (just a thumb print). Most of the rest of the family can barely read 3 words. Will their votes count? or be counted?


Looks very like the Australian proportional preferential voting systems, carefully designed to prevent the poorest & least educated 10% of the population from casting a valid vote ...

Would you like to explain how the Australian system is designed to prevent the poorest and least educated from casting a valid vote. Looking forward to your considered response. 

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Where can I cast my ballot? 

  • Haha 2

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