11 July 2024

The Constitutional Court ruled today (Wednesday) that using 100, instead of 500, as the divider in the formula for the calculation of party-list House seat allocation, as stipulated in the MP election bill, is not unconstitutional.

Today, the court considered a petition, submitted by 105 MPs and senators, seeking a ruling on whether Sections 25 and 26 of the bill covering the election of House representatives contravene Sections 93 and 94 of the Constitution.

The court ruled by 9:0 that the bill was drafted in accordance with Section 132 of the Constitution and that Section 25 of the bill is not unconstitutional. The court also ruled, by 7:2, that Section 26 of the bill does not contravene Section 93 or 94 of the Constitution.

The essence of Sections 25 and 26 of the bill concerns the method used to calculate the allocation of party-list seats.

According to the amended charter, there are 500 seats in the House, divided into 100 party-list seats and 400 constituency seats, instead of 150 and 350 seats as previously prescribed in the charter.

The bill did not pass three readings within the 180-day time frame because of a U-turn by government MP over the change of the divider in the formula to be used for calculation of party-list seats, from 500 to 100.

Dr. Ravee Maschamadol, party-list MP and leader of the New Palangdharma Party, contended that Sections 25 and 26 of the bill are unconstitutional, because the bill was not approved by the parliament within 180 days.