The Election Commission of Thailand (EC) on Wednesday certified the status of 94 more MPs, allowing the House of Representatives to have enough MPs to hold its first session to select prime minister. EC Secretary-General Suthipol Taweechaikarn said at press conference on Wednesday evening that the EC committee resolved to certify MP status of 94 more MPs, that was elected on the general election on July 3, making the number of certified MPs to 496 of 500 or more than 95 percent of the House seats.
According to the Thai Constitution, 95 percent of MPs, or 475 out of 500, must be endorsed before the first meeting of the Lower House of Parliament is able to take place within 30 days from the election date.
The MPs who were certified Wednesday included anti-establishment “red-shirt” core leader and Pheu Thai MP Nattawut Saikua who was jailed for about nine months for terrorism charge after the “red- shirt” demonstration ended in May last year.
Jatuporn Prompan, another “red-shirt” core leader and Pheu Thai MP-elect in party-list system who is now behind bars for charges related to national security, was one of the four MPs that have not yet endorsed, according to the EC Secretary-General. The rest problematic seats are from the constituency system in northeastern province of Nong Khai, central province of Sukhothai and southern province of Yala.
As Jatuporn was in prison and could not go to vote on July 3, Suthipol said, this might cause Jatuporn to be ineligible to run as MP candidate. The EC then need more time to discuss the issue. Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai Party got a landslide victory in the latest election, securing more than 50 percent of the House seats.
The first House session is expected to be held next on Aug. 1, in which Pheu Thai prime minister designate Yingluck Shinawatra, the youngest sister of Thaksin, is expected to be selected as the 28th prime minister and also the first woman prime minister of Thailand.