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New voting rules ‘will reduce poll fraud’

Aug 09. 2017
Chief charter drafter Meechai Ruchupan
Chief charter drafter Meechai Ruchupan
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By The Nation

The new voting system in which consistency candidates have totally different numbers will reduce poll fraud, chief charter drafter Meechai Ruchupan said on Wednesday.

The remark came after strong criticism that the new method could create confusion and might not eliminate corruption in elections.

Asked for whom the organic law had been drafted, Meechai responded that it was essentially the people who would benefit.

“The system has been designed to make vote-buying difficult. But this does not mean vote-buying will be suppressed altogether,” the chief drafter said. “But if anyone has any better idea, please let the Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC) know.”

In response to the remark that the CDC should be responsible if this move failed to curb election fraud, Meechai said that this was the responsibility of the Election Commission, because the CDC did not organise elections. He added that election fraud had been rampant in the past.

Meechai was also asked about legislators who had signed up to petition the Constitutional Court to interpret the tenure of the ombudsmen under the organic law. He said that the legislators could do so without having to consider the CDC’s stance.

The office terms of commissioners of independent organisations have also been controversial. Some organisation members have been removed from office following the new rules, while others have been spared. The CDC, National Legislative Assembly and the independent organisations may not see eye-to-eye in these matters.

According to the current charter, they could set up a joint committee to review the rules or they could petition the Constitutional Court for a review.

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