The delay in confirming the MPs elected to parliament comes with reports of discrepancies in 16 provinces and controversy over the status of Mr Pita Limjaroenrat, the man seeking to become Thailand’s next Prime Minister, as he faces a complex and intractable complaint relating to shares in a media firm.
The process of forming a new government and finalising the May 14th General Election result faced increasing uncertainty, this week, after the Election Commission announced, on Wednesday, that the status of 79 MPs provisionally declared elected on a constituency basis, was being investigated based on either complaints or unconfirmed endorsements from election inspectors. Earlier this week, the poll agency announced recounts in 16 provinces covering twenty provisionally elected MPs.
With just four weeks to go before a deadline set by law to certify the 500 MPs returned to the House of Representatives in the May 14th General Election, the Election Commission, on Wednesday, revealed that poll results for 79 MPs, running in 400 constituencies on the local ballot and who were initially declared provisional winners, are to be placed under investigation as they were the subject of complaints made against the election result.
Last week, the Election Commission announced a recount of votes relating to 20 MPs across 16 provinces as it was found that the total number of votes counted in those areas did not match the tally for ballots issued or people who had voted in the poll.
News comes with swirling controversy over the fate of Prime Minister-elect Pita Limjaroenrat whose Move Forward Party was declared the election winner
The news is coming amid swirling controversy and claims versus counterclaims being submitted to the electoral body related to Mr Pita Limjaroenrat, the Prime Minister-elect at the head of an eight-party coalition which accounts for 313 MPs in the House of Representatives.
The coalition requires 376 votes for Mr Pita’s candidacy for the role if he is to be elected government leader under Section 272 of the constitution.
This latest announcement creates another layer of uncertainty at this time.
Move Forward Party’s good election result leaves uncertainty as to who will form the next government
It is not quite clear what will happen if these complaints against the provisionally elected MPs are upheld but it has been suggested that new elections could be ordered in some instances while the second-placed candidate could be awarded the seat.
Only 329 MPs to be confirmed on June 21st
On Thursday, the Secretary-general of the Election Commission Mr Sawaeng Boonme announced that 329 MPs will be certified and approved by announcement on June 21st with 71 MPs being investigated.
Recount ordered in 16 provinces with 20 MPs being examined after complaints were filed against them will not impact election outcome says Commission
Bhumjaithai and Palang Pracharat won 27% of constituency seats only polling 4% in the party list vote
Mr Sawaeng said that a meeting would take place on June 19th to finalise this and that elected MPs could then pick up the required documents from the Office of the Election Commission in due course.
The 71 constituency MPs whose election is being examined include only 7 from the Move Forward Party while 21 provisionally elected MPs from the Bhumjaithai Party are being examined as well as 20 from the Pheu Thai Party.
41 of the MPs whose election is being probed are with parties supporting the current ruling coalition
In addition, there are 14 MPs from the Palang Pracharat Party, 3 from the Thai Sang Chart Party and Democrat Party with only one from the United Thai Nation (Ruam Thai Sang Chart) Party.
Earlier in the week, the Chairman of the Election Commission, Mr Itthiporn Boonprakong, revealed that the certification of all constituency MPs was dependent on looking into all complaints and hearing the opinions of election inspectors in charge of each poll.
He said that the Office of the Election Commission was collecting evidence and the required certification of each outstanding election result was being considered.