The record-breaking voter turnout on May 14th demonstrated a strong desire among Thai citizens to actively participate in their democratic process and exercise their right to vote. This surge of enthusiasm and engagement highlights a new chapter in the nation’s political landscape.
Once the polling centers closed their doors at 5 pm on May 14th, each committee at the individual polling locations began the process of opening the ballot boxes and counting the votes. Upon completion of the count, the Election Commission (EC) was informed of the results.
As we look ahead to July-August, several key events and milestones are anticipated, in accordance with the Constitution and established guidelines:
In compliance with Section 85 of the Constitution, the EC is required to announce the official election results within 60 days following Election Day. Should any candidates or voters suspect unfair practices during the election, they have the option to submit objections to the EC either before or within 30 days of the release of the results.
Furthermore, citizens can file complaints within 180 days after the results are disclosed if they believe that either political parties or candidates have exceeded the spending limits set forth by the EC. At present, a constituency MP candidate is not permitted to spend more than 1.9 million baht on their election campaign. Similarly, political parties are restricted from spending over 44 million baht in support of their party-list MPs, with these rules in effect from the day the lower House was dissolved until Election Day.
As we move forward, the EC must schedule the first parliamentary meeting to elect the president and vice presidents of the National Assembly within 15 days of the announcement of the election results. Once these positions have been filled, a subsequent parliamentary meeting is to be held to appoint the prime minister.
In accordance with the current Constitution, a prime minister candidate must secure a minimum of 376 votes from both the House of Representatives (500 seats) and Senate (250 seats) to be elected to the position. Following their election, the prime minister can assemble their cabinet upon receiving royal endorsement from His Majesty the King.
It is projected that the new cabinet will take their official posts at the beginning of August, ushering in a new era of governance and democracy for the people of Thailand. The heightened voter turnout and forthcoming milestones exemplify the nation’s commitment to fostering a more engaged and active political atmosphere, as its citizens eagerly await a brighter and more prosperous future.