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Turbulent Thailand

Thai ruling party irks progressives with electoral tweaks

Constitutional changes seen giving major parties a big push

BANGKOK -- Voters in Thailand's next general election will cast two ballots, one for a lower house candidate and another for their preferred political party, in the wake of constitutional amendments that alter the electoral system. The changes are likely to favor large political parties while working against smaller parties, including a progressive party that emerged in the 2019 general elections.

The new system will reserve 400 lower house seats for constituency winners, up from 350 under the current system. Another 100 lawmakers -- down from 150 at present -- will be chosen by proportional representation from party lists. Currently, votes in a constituency are allocated proportionally to parties to which candidates belong. Under the revised system, voters will cast two ballots: one for a parliament candidate and another for a party.

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