The election date in Thailand was announced after a royal decree to dissolve the House of Representatives was endorsed by His Majesty the King on May 9. Preparations are now underway for the next general election, scheduled for Sunday, 3 July 2011.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said that he had submitted the royal decree to His Majesty the King for endorsement on May 6 and that it was published in the Royal Gazette on May 10, when the dissolution of the House of Representatives took effect.
He said that economic and political crises that Thailand was facing when he took office in late 2008 have eased, and that the House of Representatives had passed amendments of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand in line with the changing situation. The Government then deemed it appropriate to dissolve the House of Representatives, paving the way for a general election for the people to decide the direction of the country.
The Prime Minister cited the House dissolution as a new start for the people to move Thailand forward in solving various problems under the democratic process. He, therefore, announced the House dissolution with full willingness and hoped that the people would take this important opportunity to move the country forward together.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the House dissolution did not mean that the Government’s missions would end. There are numerous issues needed to be brought under control, such as higher costs of living, drug abuse and trafficking, corruption, and border conflicts. He reaffirmed the country’s rule of law and efforts to bring about reconciliation and harmonization, saying that the Government still has a lot of work to do and the decision by the people in the upcoming election would set which direction the country will take.
On May 9, the Constitutional Court ruled that the three organic laws governing the election of members of the House of Representatives and senators, political parties, and the operation of the Election Commission of Thailand, are in compliance with the Constitution.
With the constitutional amendments, the total number of members of the House of Representatives will increase from 480 to 500 in the July 3 general election. The country’s electoral system for members of the House of Representatives is also changed from a multi-seat constituency to a single-seat constituency system, with a seat apportionment formula of 375 single-constituency MPs and 125 MPs from a single nationwide proportional representation instead of multiple lists for each electoral district.
Election will have no impact on Thailand”s economic expansion
The dissolution of the House will have no impact on the country’s economic expansion projected at between 3.5% and 4.5% this year with normal public budget disbursements for the remainder of fiscal 2011 to Sept 30, according to the National Economic and Social Development Board.