How electoral commissioning works

12 04 2019

The ongoing controversy about how to select party list “winners” from the recent “election” is a fake controversy. We don’t mean that the military junta’s effort to steal the election is fake; that’s very real. Nor do we mean that the theft isn’t of concern to the anti-junta parties; they are watching the election being stolen.

What we mean is that the Election Commission is manufacturing a controversy in order to achieve the outcome the junta wants. Only concerted opposition can stop this.

The EC’s political feint seems to run like this. First, the EC seemed to say it didn’t know how to calculate the party list. Remember the infamous “I don’t have a calculator” comment by EC boss Ittiporn Boonpracong. Then it seemed easy enough, right? Wrong.

As the possibility of an anti-junta coalition emerged, EC secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma claimed that his EC wasn’t sure how it is going to calculate party list seats. He revealed that there were at least two formulas, each based on a different “interpretation” of the law.

Then the “controversy” was underway, with the junta’s puppets emerging to say that the only way to allocate the seats was by a formula that favored their bosses. This caused the “controversy” to escalate.

As noted, several parties objected. But the point of the controversy was to find a way to “legalize” this aspect of the theft of the election.

As the Bangkok Post reports the “controversy” allows the EC to look stunned and stumped, and to send the “issue” to the Constitutional Court for it “to rule on the legality of its [chosen] method of calculating and allocating party-list seats.” That is, the way that suits the pro-junta position.

Now, we don’t know how the Court will rule, and it might surprise us, but we can make a pretty good guess based on its previous rulings. It has pretty much a 100% record of supporting the anti-democrat/pro-junta positions, most recently and hastily dissolved the Thai Raksa Chart Party on dubious grounds.

This means that the Court is likely to agree with the EC and thus “legalize” this aspect of stealing the election.

That’s how election commissioning works. As Reuters puts it: “The move raises the prospect of further delay after a lack of clarity over the election outcome fuelled concerns over alleged manipulation by the military government…”.

That’s how the “system” works, “legalizing” all that is illegal (from coup to dissolving parties and much more).

Only concerted opposition can prevent the EC and the Constitutional Court from supporting the military junta’s theft of party list seats.



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