Parliament restores 2-ballot voting system
A government’s charter-amendment bill to restore the two-ballot electoral system was approved by Parliament in its third and final reading on Friday.
The bill means voters in future elections will cast one vote for their constituency MP and a separate vote for their preferred party.
It also increases the number of constituency MPs from 350 to 400 while cutting party-list MPs from 150 to 100. Party-list MPs will be calculated from the percentage of preferred-party votes.
Constitutional amendments require support from more than half of Parliament, (367 votes), including at least 20 per cent of opposition MPs (43) and at least one-third of the Senate (84).
Friday’s bill passed with support from 472 parliamentarians.
Of the total 467 MPs, 323 voted in favour, 23 against and 121 abstained.
Of the total 225 senators, 149 voted in favour, 10 against, and 66 abstained.
The bill will be forwarded for royal endorsement in 15 days. Meanwhile, MPs can file an appeal to the Constitutional Court for a decision within 30 days.
Jurin Laksanawisit, leader of the coalition’s Democrat Party, thanked government parties, opposition and senators for approving the bill.
Former deputy agriculture minister Thammanat Prompow did not attend Friday’s Parliament session. Thammanat was removed from his post on Wednesday.