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Thailand’s Election Commission Announces Approval of 349 Constituency MP’s

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BANGKOK – Thailand’s Election Commission has approved all existing 349 constituency MPs as it rushes to meet the MP endorsement deadline so Parliament can convene by the end of May.

The remaining seat was left vacant after the EC banned Surapol Kiatchayakorn, a Pheu Thai candidate for Chiang Mai’s district 8, for giving a monk 2,000 baht in cash and a wall clock. A fresh election will be held for the constituency on May 26 and Pheu Thai is prevented by law from fielding a new candidate.

Of all the approved district MPs, 136 are from Pheu Thai, followed by Palang Pracharath (97), Bhumjaithai (39), Democrat (33), Future Forward (30), Chartthaipattana (6), Prachachat (6), Action Coaltion for Thailand (1) and Chartpattana (1).

The EC had said earlier it would endorse the same proportion of party list MPs as constituency MPs. That would mean it would announce all 150 party-list MPs on Wednesday — after the Constitutional Court decides whether the calculation and allocation method of list seats the EC intends to use is constitutional. The EC’s preferred method allocates seats to many small parties believed likely to support a government led by Palang Pracharath.

Even after the endorsement, the EC may continue to scrutinize the MPs for possible breaches of election law, which gives it the authority to act over the period of one year. Election-related cases, however, must be decided by the Supreme Court.