Sodsri: Election can’t be delayed

The general election cannot be postponed and must take place on Feb 2 as declared in the royal decree, former commissioner of the Election Commission (EC) Sodsri Sattayatham said on Sunday.

Mrs Sodsri was concerned about the remark by anti-government protest leader and secretary general of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) Suthep Thaugsuban on Saturday that the general election would never take place as planned.

She said Mr Suthep and the PDRC should instead focus on reforming politicians, not the election system, because the election fraud and vote-buying were practiced by politicians.

Moreover, the PDRC should join forces with the EC in monitoring the coming nationwide general elections to ensure a fair, just and transparent poll, she added.

The former commissioner did not see any possibility of setting up an appointed people’s council and people’s government as proposed by Mr Suthep.

Mrs Sodsri, who was in the audience at the peace forum hosted on Saturday by the supreme commander at the Royal Thai Armed Forces headquarters, said she personally felt the forum would not lead to a resolution of the political crisis.

Each party joining the forum just talked about their own stances and objectives, without any discussion on finding solutions to the political conflict acceptable to all sides, she said.

The best solution at this time was for all parties to return to an election mode to let the people decide on which political model they prefer.

Political parties that want to set up a people’s council should clearly state that as a main policy in their campaigns, she said.

This would also become a de facto national referendum on whether or not eligible voters support the proposed people’s council, she added.

Mrs Sodsri said the EC is unable to hold a national referendum on the proposed people’s council at the same time as a general election because the charter stipulates that a referendum must be held by the government, not a caretaker administration.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 15/12/2013 at 03:45 PM
Stop blaming politicians for vote buying. Blame yourself for taking the money.
Discussion 2 : 15/12/2013 at 01:43 PM
Problem: Would you vote for a party who (and whose supporters) repeatedly insult you as being stupid, uneducated, buffaloes, ... ? Would you vote for a party that repeatedly allies with those who dissolve your elected party? Would you vote for a party that rather would NOT have you vote at all? Vote buying might have been a reason in the past but not now. People on both sides hate the other side too much, they would never vote for them, no matter if and how much you pay. All people I know tell me the same: They are offered money from at least 4 parties and chose the one they would vote for anyway or take from all and vote what they want.
Discussion 3 : 15/12/2013 at 01:42 PM
3 cheers! for Khun Sodsri, who stand up for the System of Electoral Democracy.
Discussion 4 : 15/12/2013 at 01:30 PM
Mrs Sodsri has given a sensible and practical suggestion. Mr Suthep is a brave man! His initiative will definitely earn him a place in history of Thailand. "Mr Suthep's intitiative + Mrs Sodsri's well-thought out view" => a viable solution for Thailand to move forward towards beneficial changes for the people and Kingdom of Thailand.
Discussion 5 : 15/12/2013 at 01:28 PM
Money politic is merely an accusation alleged. Proof and evidence should be collected and reporting to police enable police to do the investigation and find the elected lawmaker nullified if s/he conducted vote buying fraud. Otherwise this is all none existent accusation intends to denigrate the government concerned. And corruption is frisky and tricky accusation won't be easy to track. It needs powerful public institution like Hong Kong ICAC to prod it exposed and sue the defaulter to jail term once is found guilty. When you said someone is corrupt, you must sustainably prove you are clean as declaring your property assessments.
Discussion 6 : 15/12/2013 at 01:14 PM
"fraud, and corruption that is recognized as inherent in the voting system, there still seems to be this idealistic thinking that a fair election can be held"....Imperfect elections to be sure, with vote-buying idiocy by all sides in equal measure.....But still better than any alternative I can think of...Vote-buying - Those offering and those receiving should be equally prosecuted....." This government is completely happy with how the fraud and corruption work"...It wasn't this Govt. and PM hoisted into power unelectorally, to be turfed the moment an election was held.
Discussion 7 : 15/12/2013 at 12:54 PM
Khun Sodsri, you have spoken well on this chaotic isues. Not many Thais dare to express their very frank and outright opinions. I salute you.
Discussion 8 : 15/12/2013 at 12:26 PM
Read about some protester history and you will be not so selective on those who are "happy how the fraud and corruption work".
Discussion 9 : 15/12/2013 at 12:02 PM
Suthep had better obey the royal decree.
Discussion 10 : 15/12/2013 at 11:51 AM
With an evil thought wants to put Thai politic into quagmire and enfeeble tourist industry grows. This isn't a good politician should do. Sodsri is right in the point. Campaign your reform policy, let people decide the proposal if it is really good and effectively usable. How can you merely want the caretaker PM to step down as you wish. Otherwise no election be materialized before the reformation is done compulsorily. This is underground politic. Is it meant that the other side of people who had voted to elect the government have no say on it? Is it considered fair and square to you? Hooliganism can not be let survived in this land of smile.
Discussion 11 : 15/12/2013 at 11:29 AM
Clear and wise explanation and perfect conclusion: "Political parties that want a setting up of the people’s council should clearly state as a main policy in their campaigns that such panel would be set up if they win the election". And everybody seems ready for the reforms.
Discussion 12 : 15/12/2013 at 11:10 AM
With the fraud, and corruption that is recognized as inherent in the voting system, there still seems to be this idealistic thinking that a fair election can be held in Thailand. That simply is not possible under the existing system, and given the number of legal observers and policy enforcers. The complaints of fraud and corruption from the last election could not all be investigated with the money resources, and manpower the EC had. Why is there thinking this election will be different. Nothing has changed, or any type of reform instituted by the government. This government is completely happy with how the fraud and corruption work.

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