Thai general election, 2007

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Thai general election, 2007
Thailand
2006 ←
23 December 2007 → 2011

All 480 seats to the House of Representatives of Thailand
241 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
  Samak Sundaravej.JPG Vejjajivacropped.jpg
Leader Samak Sundaravej Abhisit Vejjajiva
Party PPP Democrat
Leader's seat Bangkok Constituency 6 Bangkok Constituency 6
Last election Did not contest 96 seats, 18.3%1
Seats won 233 165
Seat change Increase 233 Increase 69
Popular vote 26,293,456 (Constituency)
14,071,799 (Proportional)
21,745,696 (Constituency)
14,084,265 (Proportional)
Percentage 36.63% (Constituency)
39.60% (Proportional)
30.30% (Constituency)
39.63% (Proportional)

Prime Minister before election

Surayud Chulanont
Military

Prime Minister-designate

Samak Sundaravej
PPP

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The 2007 Thai general elections were held on 23 December. This was the first legislative election after the Council for National Security, a military junta, had overthrown Thailand's elected government and abrogated the constitution on September 19, 2006.[1] The junta had canceled general elections scheduled for October 2006 and promised new elections within 12 months. The Constitutional Tribunal then outlawed the Thai Rak Thai party, the largest political party in Thailand, and banned TRT executives from contesting in the elections for five years. After their political party had been dissolved, the former TRT members regrouped under the band of People's Power Party (PPP) led by Samak Sundaravej, the seasoned politician. Following its formation, the junta issued a classified order to suppress the activities of the PPP and to frame it for lèse majesté. The order was leaked to the public, leading to a complaint towards the Election Commission from the PPP. However, the Election Commission dismissed the complaint on the grounds that the Council for National Security (CNS) had granted itself immunity in the 2007 Constitution of Thailand.[2]

The junta deployed 200,000 soldiers and police officers to maintain security and 1,500 officers to supervise after election fraud. Charnchai Silapauaychai, a popular former Democrat Party member from Phrae who switched to the PPP for the 2008 election, was assassinated. Five men, one of them cousin of a powerful Democrat Party MP were arrested, but all denied involvement.[3]

Despite being the junta's target for suppression, the PPP managed to win 233 out of 480 parliamentary seats, close to controlling the majority in the House of Representatives. The Democrat Party came in a distant second with 165 seats, Chart Thai 37, For the Motherland 24, Ruam Jai Thai Chat Pattana 9, the Neutral Democratic Party 7, and Pracharat 5.

Competing political parties[edit]

Some of the political parties contesting in this election, covering 157 constituencies and 80 party-list seats, are:

Voting system[edit]

With the new constitution the number of MPs was reduced to 480, with 400 elected directly by the 157 constituencies and 80 elected by proportional votes in each of the eight electoral areas. Depending on the size of the population, each constituency may have up to three MPs.[4][5]

Early voting started on 15 December 2007.[6]

Map of electoral areas

The eight electoral areas were designed such that they contain equal numbers of population.

Timing of the election[edit]

Although the junta initially scheduled the elections within 12 months after the September 2006 coup, Minister of the Prime Minister's Office Thirapat Serirangsan later announced that the elections might not occur until one year and five months, which would put the election in February or March 2008.[7] On the other hand, the chairman of the Constitution Drafting Council, Noranit Sethabutr, said in January that the timetable was to hold a constitutional referendum in August and elections between October and December; any problems in drafting the constitution or ratifying it through the referendum would delay the election date.[8] This timetable was later tightened even further, with elections planned by the end of September 2007. A preliminary date was set in March 2007 for the elections to be held on 16 December 2007 or 23 December 2007.[9] After the constitutional referendum, it was announced that the most likely date would be 23 December,[10] which was formally agreed upon on 27 August 2007.[11]

Early poll results[edit]

A poll from late August saw the Democrat Party in the lead with 43.0%, followed by the People's Power Party with 20.7% and Thais United with 7.7%.[12] A poll from November 2007 saw the PPP lead with 39%, followed by the Democrat Party with 32%, the Thai Nation Party with 10%, the Neutral Democratic Party with 9% and For the Motherland with 5%.[13] However, another poll from late November saw the Democrat Party lead with 43% to the PPP's 24%.[14]

Election results[edit]

Two exit polls gave the PPP a clear first place, with either 256 to the Democrats' 162 seats (giving them an absolute majority of the 480 seats) or with 202 to the Democrats' 146. Four smaller parties also took seats. While the Democrats acknowledged their election defeat and stated it was the PPP's right to form the government, it is unclear what the military will do now, as the PPP is based mostly on former TRT supporters.[15][16]

The preliminary final results gave the PPP 226 seats, the Democrat Party 166 seats and Chart Thai 39 seats. For the Motherland got 26 seats, Ruam Jai Thai Chat Pattana 10, the Neutral Democratic Party 7 and Pracharat 4 seats.[17]

According to final results, the PPP won 233 seats, the Democrat Party 165 seats and Chart Thai 37 seats. For the Motherland got 24 seats, Ruam Jai Thai Chat Pattana 9, the Neutral Democratic Party 7 and Pracharat 5 seats.[18]

233
37
24
21
165
People's Power
CTP
PPD
Other
Democrat


e • d Summary of the 23 December 2007 House of Representatives of Thailand Thai general election results
Party Constituency Proportional TOTAL
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
People's Power Party 26,293,456 36.63 199 14,071,799 39.60 34 233
Democrat Party 21,745,696 30.30 132 14,084,265 39.63 33 165
Thai Nation Party 6,363,475 8.87 33 1,545,282 4.35 4 37
For the Motherland 6,599,422 9.19 17 1,981,021 5.57 7 24
Thais United National Development Party 3,395,197 4.73 8 948,544 2.67 1 9
Neutral Democratic Party 3,844,673 5.36 7 528,464 1.49 0 7
Royalist People's Party 1,632,795 2.27 4 750,158 2.11 1 5
Others 1,897,953 2.64 1,626,234 4.58 0
Valid votes 71,772,667* 100 400 35,535,767 100 80 480
No Votes   906,216 2.32
Invalid Votes 2,539,429 6.51
Total Turnout 38,981,412 85.38
Source: The Nation

* As constituencies elect between one and three MPs, some people have two or three votes.

Disqualifications[edit]

A number of MPs (mainly those elected for the PPP) were given so-called "red cards" for suspected vote-buying, meaning they will not be able to contest the resulting by-elections, while other MPs issued with "yellow cards" are not banned from contesting such by-elections.[19] By 2008-01-03, the Election Commission had endorsed 397 MPs and was still investigating 83 MPs for fraud.[20]

By-elections were held on 13 January, 17 January, 20 January (the day before the first session of the newly elected parliament) and 27 January 2008.[21] The Electoral Commission was still looking into allegations of fraud by PPP deputy leader Yongyuth Tiyaphairat; if he is given a red card, the PPP faces dissolution. PPP officials have stated that they are not worried over the possible dissolution, and that they would simply find a new party instead; local reports state that a likely candidate for takeover by PPP members would be the Thai Land Power Party (Palang Pandin Thai Party).[22]

Disqualified were:

Government formation[edit]

In January 2008, a coalition government was announced bringing together the PPP and the five smallest parties. The Democrat Party became the sole opposition party.[30]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Thai coup leader: No vote for another year". Bangkok: MSNBC. 20 September 2006. 
  2. ^ "Poll agency clears CNS for role in issuing classified order". Bangkok Post. 2007-12-13. Retrieved 2010-10-11. 
  3. ^ IHT, Thailand to deploy 200,000 police and soldiers for post-coup elections, 17 December 2007
  4. ^ Michael H. Nelson. "A proportional Election System for Thailand" (DOC). Archived from the original on Jun 26, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Countdown towards the General Election" (PDF). Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Special Bulletin. 
  6. ^ "Early voting of Thai general election begins". December 15, 2007. 
  7. ^ The Nation, Drafting new charter 'may take 17 mths', 18 October 2006
  8. ^ "Thai elections expected at year end". Television New Zealand. Reuters. 12 January 2007. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  9. ^ Beth Jinks and Suttinee Yuvejwattana, "Thai Election in December, Referendum by September", Bloomberg.com, 29 March 2007.
  10. ^ Suttinee Yuvejwattana, "Thai King Approves Constitution, Allowing Election", Bloomberg.com, 24 August 2007.
  11. ^ "Thailand sets date for election". BBC News. 27 August 2007. 
  12. ^ "Thais Want Democrats to Form Government", Angus Reid, September 11, 2007.
  13. ^ "Former Ruling Party Spin-Off First in Thailand". Angusreid Global Monitor. 2007-11-15. 
  14. ^ "Thais Want Former Opposition Leader as PM". Angusreid Global Monitor. 2007-11-27. 
  15. ^ "Polls: Thaksin Allies Win in Thailand". Guardian Unlimited. 2007-12-23. Archived from the original on 2007-12-24. 
  16. ^ "Thaksin-linked party claims 'victory for democracy' in Thai polls". Forbes. 2007-12-23. 
  17. ^ "Thaksin ally wins Thai election". BBC News. 2007-12-23. 
  18. ^ "Thai general election results announced". Xinhua News Agency. 2007-12-25. 
  19. ^ "3 elected candidates of winning party "yellow-carded"". People's Daily Online. 2007-12-26. 
  20. ^ Thai election agency endorses 397 candidates winning general election People's Daily Online
  21. ^ Thai election agency completes filling House seats People's Daily Online
  22. ^ (Chinese) Thailand starts by-elections in Northeast_English_Xinhua
  23. ^ Bangkok Post: Top Stories
  24. ^ MCOT English News : Nakhon Ratchasima Constituency 3 set to hold by-election Jan 13
  25. ^ Poll agency issues yellow card to fourth PPP elected candidate
  26. ^ a b Thai election agency issues more yellow cards to winning candidates People's Daily Online
  27. ^ Thai election agency disqualifies poll winner candidate People's Daily Online
  28. ^ a b Thai election agency disqualifies more winning candidates People's Daily Online
  29. ^ Thailand starts third round by-elections People's Daily Online
  30. ^ Thailand's Supreme Court clears way for PPP to form coalition gov't, Xinhua, 2008-01-19. Retrieved 2008-01-19.

External links[edit]

Wikinews-logo.svg News related to Exit polls indicate pro-Thaksin party lead in Thai election at Wikinews Media related to Thai general election, 2007 at Wikimedia Commons