Parliament votes for party-list MP calculation method to be divided by 500
A Parliament meeting on Wednesday to consider the second reading of the Organic Act on the Election of Members of Parliament voted for a party-list member of Parliament calculation method in which votes for candidates from all parties will be divided by 500.
The meeting, which comprised senators and members of the House of Representatives, chose whether to divide the party-list MP calculation by 500 or by 100. The first choice won with 354 votes in favour, 162 votes against, 37 abstentions and four no votes.
The meeting rejected the use of 100 to calculate party-list seats, which is the current method, by 392 votes to 160, with 23 abstentions and two no votes.
The new formula will use 500, which is the total number of all MPs (400 constituency and 100 party-list), instead of using the number of party-list MPs alone to divide votes to determine the minimum number of listed MPs for a political party.
Based on voting figures in the 2019 general election that witnessed 35.5 million votes, each party would have needed around 70,000 votes to win a list seat under the model. On the other hand, if the formula of dividing 100 was used, a party would have needed at least 350,000 votes.
However, Thammasat University public law specialist Prinya Thaewanarumitkul expressed concern on Facebook on Wednesday that the new formula would result in the number of list MPs exceeding the number allowed by the constitution.
“This new method needs an addendum specifying that in case the calculated number of list MPs exceed 100, each party’s list MPs will be adjusted down proportionally until the 100 seats of list MPs are achieved,” he added.