Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to single-seat constituencies?

The change back to the multiple-seat constituencies with the 2007 constitution apparently remains a controversial topic. In yesterday's The Nation it reads
"The recommendation from the Sombat Thamrongthanyawong panel is just a rehash of an old debate during the drafting of the 2007 Constitution," said Election Commission member Sodsri Sattayatham, who helped author the 2007 charter.
The preceding 1997 charter introduced single-seat constituencies, which might be popular in other democracies but in the local political landscape, ended up fuelling money politics to sway votes, she said, explaining why the charter writers opted for the multi-seat system.
The corresponding item by the governmental National News Bureau focuses on the reaction of Prime Minister Abhisit only, not mentioning any controversy. Bangkok Post has the reaction of 2006 coup leader Sonthi
Matubhum Party leader Gen Sonthi Boonyaratkalin said on Saturday that he supports the proposal by political reform committee that the “one constituency, one number” system be introduced in the next general election.
“The one constituency, one number system will open an opportunity for small political party to win MP seats at the polls. But I believe big political parties would not agree with this proposal”, Gen Sonthi said.
It'll be interesting to see if there will really be a reversion of the reversion, but if there will be it must mean a lot of extra work for the Election Commission, as then all of the constituencies must be redefined - another possible excuse for the delaying of the election maybe?

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