6 June 2024

The Election Commission is under increasing pressure to review how it is redrawing the electoral boundaries for the next general elections which currently takes into account people without Thai citizenship in calculating representation for each of the constituencies.

The commission insisted that this is not the first time it includes non-Thais in their calculation.  However, opposition MPs and academics argue that such practice could lead to the elections being declared null and void.

There has been suggestion that either the Election Commission or the Interior Ministry seek a ruling on the controversy from the Constitutional Court.

The Election Commission said its redrawing of the electoral boundaries is line with the Constitution which requires redrawing of electoral boundaries to be based on the total population of the country.   The Interior Ministry is in charge of overseeing nation-wide household registrations which are used as the basis for calculating population figures.

The Election Commission interprets the term “population” as covering people both with or without Thai citizenship.

Chaitawat Tulathon, the secretary general of the Move Forward Party, called on the Election Commission to reconsider how it is redrawing the electoral boundaries because of the ongoing confusion.

Legal scholar Prinya Thaewanarumitkul expressed concerns that the results of the elections could be challenged with the Constitutional Court if the Election Commission went ahead with the current redrawing of the electoral boundaries.

“I am afraid there is a possibility that the election results could be rendered null and void as a result,” he told Thai PBS.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam yesterday also cautioned the Election Commission on the issue, noting that the population to be used in determining electoral boundaries should cover only people with Thai citizenship.

But Election Commission chairman Ittiporn Boonpracong indicated yesterday that the commission would not take the issue to the Constitutional Court.