SUNDAY, April 21, 2024
nationthailand

Constitutional Court ruling changes number of MPs in 8 provinces

Constitutional Court ruling changes number of MPs in 8 provinces

The Constitutional Court ruled unanimously on Friday that non-Thai residents cannot be included in the population figure used to calculate the number of MPs for each province.

As a result, the Election Commission (EC) – which requested a ruling from the court last month – must revise the number of MPs in eight provinces. Four provinces will lose one MP each and another four will gain one each.

The Constitution requires that the number of MPs for each province be based on their population according to the latest census prior to an election year. The 400 constituency MPs are divided among the provinces based on their population.

The EC previously calculated that there should be one MP for every 165,226 residents of the country, based on the Interior Ministry census at the end of last year that put the total population of Thailand at 66,090,475. That number included 983,994 stateless people who lived in the country but were not Thai citizens.

When stateless people are excluded, there will be one MP for every 162,766 residents.

The EC initially included stateless people in its calculation for determining the number of constituency MPs for each province. After opposition MPs and academics warned that including stateless people in the population figure could lead to the election being declared null and void, the EC asked the Constitutional Court to rule on the issue.

Tak, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, and Samut Sakhon provinces will each lose one MP, while Udon Thani, Lop Buri, Nakhon Si Thammarat, and Pattani will gain one MP each.

An EC official said on Friday that the agency had a contingency plan for the ruling. The election directors of provinces likely to be affected had been instructed to draft alternative constituency boundaries in case the number of MPs in their provinces rose or fell, the official said.

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