Thai parliament votes to accept changes to MP electoral system

17:23, January 26, 2011      

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Thai parliament in early hours of Wednesday voted to accept a draft bill favored by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's Democrat Party to amend the constitution on the electoral system of members of House of Representatives.

At over 2 a.m., parliament President Chai Chidchob announced that the joint sitting of the House and Senate voted to accept the draft bill to amend Sections 93-98 of the constitution with various scores for each section from 298 to 307 in approval to 192 to 212 in disapproval.

Key amendments in this draft are to raise the number of House members to 500 with 375 coming from constituency representation and the other 125 from party-list representation.

Currently, the 480 House members consist of 400 constituency representatives and 80 party-list representatives.

The draft also seeks to change the current multi-seat constituencies to a smaller single-seat one.

MPs of Democrats-led coalition partners said in a television program on Wednesday that they voted to support the Democrats- favored draft because they have already had the smaller size of electoral constituencies they preferred and, hence, needed to give in to the composition of House members to keep the coalition alliance.

Before Tuesday's deliberation in the second reading of the draft, various coalition partners have publicly said they preferred to have 400 House MPs coming from constituency representation and the other 100 from partly-list system.

Earlier, the parliament also voted to agree on amending Section 190 of the constitution to better classify the various types of bilateral and multi-lateral agreements that will need approval from the parliament.

However, the two draft bills to amend Section 190 and Sections 93-98 will become law only after the joint parliamentary sitting votes in approval in a third and final reading, which will take place on Feb. 11.

Source: Xinhua

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