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“61632”,”4/25/2006 10:14″,”06BANGKOK2391″,


“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,””,

“This record is a partial extract of the original cable.

The full text of the original cable is not available.


“,”C O N F I D E N T I A L BANGKOK 002391








E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/24/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, TH, Elections – Thai,

Thai Political Updates, SNAP Elections



Classified By: Political Counselor Susan M. Sutton 1.4 (b) (d)


1. (C) SUMMARY: The April 23 \”rerun\” of the elections for

MP gave 17 more seats to the ruling Thai Rak Thai party, 9

seats to \”microparties\” and left 13 seats unfilled when

single candidates did not meet the 20 percent minimum. In

one constituency, voting could not be held when the election

commission refused to work (reftel); results of the delayed

vote are expected by tomorrow. The key to winning was to

have an opponent – only 5 candidates running unopposed got

more than the 20 percent minimum. The Election Commission

has announced one more round of voting on April 29, and is

permitting new candidates to register on April 26 and 27.

Depending on how many more microparty candidates come out of

the woodwork, the EC may be able to whittle down the number

of empty seats still further. END SUMMARY.


2. (C) After another grueling round of elections, there are

still 13 unfilled seats in the Parliament. (All results are

based on press reports, since the EC has not announced

official results, but the numbers are probably basically

correct). TRT picked up 17 more seats. This included two

re-runs in the central part of the country; in both of these

districts, TRT narrowly outpolled the \”no\” vote. In 5

constituencies where it was running unopposed, including 4 in

the South, TRT got past the twenty percent minimum (just

barely in several cases) although it did not outpoll \”no

vote\” plus spoiled ballots. In the other constituencies, TRT

had opponents and so was able to win, but in many cases, with

low support. In Phukhet, for example, TRT won with 8,000

votes, but there were 30,000 \”no votes.\” In Songkhla, TRT

won one seat with 8,600 votes vs. 50,000 \”no votes.\” The key

to winning was to have an opponent, and thus evade the 20

percent minimum.


3. (C) The new parliament will also have an opposition. 9

microparties won seats in the second round, including all the

constituencies in Krabi and one seat each in Phetchaburi and

Prachuab Khiri Khan (the most northerly southern provinces.)

The Phlang Prachachon party won 5 seats (in Krabi and Trang);

The People\’s Party for Debt Forgiveness won three (in

Narathiwat, Phetchaburi and Phatthalung) and Prachakon Thai

won one (in Prachuab). They will join the one non-TRT member

to win in the first round, a \”Debt Forgiveness\” party member

from Nakhon Si Thammarat (who got less than 4,000 votes to

beat a TRT opponent.) The other parties\’ platforms are not

well-known yet, but the earlier winner from the \”Debt

Forgiveness\” party told the press that he wanted the

government to stop funding megaprojects and use the money to

pay off rural debt instead.


4. (C) This leaves 13 unfilled seats in the southern

provinces. TRT has taken taken most of the seats in the far

south (Narathiwat, Yala and Songkhla) in almost every case by

beating a microparty opponent. Two seats in Pattani will be

contested in the next round, with the rest of the 13

scattered around the South.


5. (C) The Election Commission announced Monday evening that

it would hold a final round of votes on Saturday April 29, and

it would re-open registration for new candidates on Wednesday

and Thursday. This last stroke from the EC might enable it

to fill all or almost all the constituency seats. There will

be almost no time for challenges to these candidates before

Sunday\’s vote. Even if the microparty candidates are later

disqualified, as hundreds of would-be candidates have been so

far, it may not matter much. Once the vote if over and the EC

has certified the results, the parliament can be seated and

proceed with business. Even if a candidate is subsequently

disqualified, the worst likely result is a by-election,

conducted safely after the Parliament is in session. The new

parliament will still come up short, as TRT won all the party

list seats, but is one person short of the 100 required,

after one candidate joined the monkhood. The Constitutional

Court will probably still have to rule on the opening of the

truncated parliament, but the fewer the vacant seats, the

more palatable it will be to allow the Parliament to open.




Written by thaicables

July 11, 2011 at 7:58 am

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