Only 3 parties can contest all 400 constituencies in the next election: EC


If the House of Representatives was dissolved today, only three political parties would be able to field candidates in all 400 constituencies in the upcoming general election, Election Commission secretary-general Sawang Boonmee said on Saturday.

He did not name the three political parties, but said they all have branches or representative offices in every province and, therefore, are eligible to field candidates in every constituency.

Only the Democrat, Pheu Thai, and Palang Pracharath parties have branches in every province.

Eighty-three other parties registered with the Election Commission – including Ruam Thai Sang Chart (United Thai Nation), which is expected to nominate Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha as its PM candidate for the next election – have not set up branches in all provinces.

The law also requires political parties to hold primary votes among their members to select their election candidates in the constituencies they plan to contest.

Sawang said that it generally takes about 20 days for a political party to complete the six to seven steps primary voting requires.

The next national vote is tentatively scheduled for May 7, after the House of Representatives’ four-year term ends on March 23. However, PM Prayut has the power to trigger an early election with a House dissolution.

Sawang said last week that the Election Commission needs time to designate the boundary of constituencies in line with the amended electoral law, which is awaiting royal endorsement.

“We will have 25 days after the law takes effect to designate constituencies. If the House was dissolved now, there would be no constituencies and candidates' applications would be affected,” he said.