12 July 2024

House Speaker Chuan Leekpai will submit the constitutional amendments draft, which has recently passed its final reading in parliament, to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday so that the amended legislation can be presented to His Majesty the King for Royal Assent.

The House Speaker’s advisor, Dr. Sukit Atthopakorn, said that tomorrow (Sunday) will be end of the 15 day period, following the passage of the amendments, during which members of the House of Representatives or Senate who oppose the legislation can petition the Constitutional Court to challenge its constitutionality.

To date, no senators or MPs have challenged the draft, though Mr. Ruangkrai Leekitwattana, a political activist, did submit a petition which, Dr. Sukit said, had already been dismissed by Mr. Chuan.

The prime minister can, however, exercise his judgement and not present the draft to HM the King for assent if he finds the draft to be unconstitutional.

The legislation seeks to amend Sections 83, 86 and 91 of the current Constitution, to revive the two-ballot electoral system, involving one ballot for the election of 400 constituency MPs and the other for 100 party-list MPs.

The two-ballot system will benefit major parties, such as Pheu Thai and Palang Pracharat, as they are likely to garner most of the constituency seats, while spelling doom for smaller and medium-sized parties, most of which won party-list seats in the last election thanks to the mixed members apportionment (MMA) electoral system.

The biggest beneficiary of the MMA electoral system in the last election was the Future Forward party (now dissolved and changed to Move Forward party) which took most of the party-list seats, while the Pheu Thai party, which came first in the election, did not get a single one.