6 June 2024

Thailand’s Election Commission (EC) will not have the legal authority to hold the next general election under the amended Constitution, which divides the country into 400 constituencies, if the House is dissolved before two election-related bills come into force, according to an informed EC source.

The two bills are the Political Parties Bill and the bill on the election of the House of Representatives, which uses 100 as divisor in the calculation of party-list seats.

Without the two bills, which are yet to become law, the EC is not legally authorised to hold the next election  according to the Constitution, although it has all the resources to do so, according to the source.

In such a scenario, the existing election law will be enforceable, which means that all parties contesting the next election are required to have branch offices in all 400 constituencies and must hold primary elections in every one, to select their candidates to contest the poll, explained the source.

The source said, however, that not all the parties will have the capability or resources to have branch offices in every constituency or to hold primaries in each of them.

The source ruled out a suggestion that the EC could issue an edict or regulation to hold the election under the amended Constitution or that an executive decree be issued, noting that it is too risky and no one would dare to take such risk.

The best way to avoid this scenario is not to dissolve the House until the two election-related bills become law, according to the source.