Nattawut attacks EC for poll hint

Caretaker Deputy Commerce Minister and red-shirt co-leader Nattawut Saikuar on Thursday lashed out at the Election Commission for hinting that the Feb 2 national election could be delayed to avoid unrest.

In a message posted on his Facebook page, Mr Nattawut said he understood the EC’s concerns that the Feb 2 national election may lead to unrest.

He also agreed with commisioners' advice that the caretaker government and the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee should hold talks to ensure a smooth election. 

However, he did not understand the intention of the five election commissioners when they confirmed they would be fully ready to perform their duties for the planned Feb 2 poll, but at the same time suggested that the PDRC and the caretaker government should not let the Feb 2 election schedule “limit opportunity” in creating understanding among Thais or hinder reconciliation efforts. 

He said such an ambiguous remark was detrimental to the current situation, created confusion and would only allow the protesters to politically exploit it. 

The EC told a news conference Thursday that holding an election during this time of intense political strife could lead to many people rejecting the poll result and there was a legal possibility to set the new election schedule if the “political sector” reaches an agreement that Feb 2 is not an appropriate date. 

“The EC will better make clear how it will postpone the election. Who will cancel the royal decree and how?

"And if the decree has been abolished, who will cancel section 108 [of the Constitution] that states that polls must be held between 45 and 60 days after the royal endorsement to dissolve parliament is published in the Royal Gazette?,” Mr Nattawut said. 

Mr Nattawut also accused the EC of siding with the protesters. “I wonder if some election commissioners have been watching Blue Sky channel more than provisions and actual facts,” he added.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 20/12/2013 at 07:10 PM
This government has totally abused "it's mandate to govern". Reform must come first. The Thais way is to bandaid everything, but this time, it needs to get fixed as close to right as possible.
Discussion 2 : 20/12/2013 at 07:23 AM
What would be the point of delaying the polls when what's required to restore peace is for the government to reaffirm it's mandate to govern. If the democrats boycott the election because they feel they can't win then would that not be seen as confirmation that Yingluck's government is legitimate.
Discussion 3 : 20/12/2013 at 04:55 AM
I presume he will do some time in jail as soon as the PAD leaders do some time for their actions and for holding foreigners virtually hostage by closing down the Airports,an offence that would be dealt with swiftly under terrorism charges in any democratic country.
Discussion 4 : 20/12/2013 at 03:47 AM
Let the newly elected government spearhead the reform efforts with the mandate of the voters. Not the madman Suthep with his dreamed up "masses ".
Discussion 5 : 20/12/2013 at 03:20 AM
The Election Commission concerns that an election Feb.2 may lead to further unrest and many people may reject the polls are realistic. The EC is telling ALL parties and the people, that a delay is possible, if they want and reach an agreement on a delay. These information given to all people about the laws is positive. Since people and organizations from all corners of society are calling for a reform before election, this maybe a way out of this deadlock. There is nothing wrong with the EC statement. Only ill intentioned people don't like to educate the people about election laws.
Discussion 6 : 20/12/2013 at 02:16 AM
Nattawut was given MP status partially to hide from charges against him in Ratchprasong and also as payment .He is the last person who should be giving advice about government .
Discussion 7 : 20/12/2013 at 02:11 AM
Canuck: Is it so bad to want reforms before an election? Only those scared of reforms would think the way you do.
Discussion 8 : 20/12/2013 at 01:17 AM
ThaiLand need a new strong leader. A strong tought leader like Kim Jong Un, the NK leader, to lead ThaiLand forward because every leader from the past were so weak and none of them could even serve the people for more than one term except Thaksin.
Discussion 9 : 20/12/2013 at 12:52 AM
Nattawut knows that reform is needed, but he opposes it because it isn't in the interests of his boss. He seems willing to let the country sink into the abyss of disunity and violence in order to protect one person's interests. Doing so isn't in his or his boss' interests because if civil war does result, people will eventually totally reject the person who is behind it all. Even the farmers may wake up and abandon him. Win-Lose usually ends up as Lose-Lose.
Discussion 10 : 20/12/2013 at 12:32 AM
The international community back the democratic process of elections on 2 February. They have given no credence to Suthep and the PRDC who seem hell bent on taking the country into a civil war.Hopefully common sense will prevail and the silent majority will decide the outcome at the ballot box.
Discussion 11 : 20/12/2013 at 12:15 AM
Yes, I will make my own conclusions - they appointed on the side of sanity, not the hereditary dictatorship of Thaksin Shinawatra. But keep calling this democracy, the longer you do and the more people that see how clearly undemocratic it is, the easier it will be to sweep you out the door.
Discussion 12 : 20/12/2013 at 12:09 AM
Thailand needs reconciliation. You had a government and supporters that would not listen to their critics. That has led to an uprising by their critics and their leaders who wont listen to the government. Negotiation is needed. Thailand has all the makings of a civil war in progress. Choice is, whether you like it or not :- a)Hold the elections as scheduled and risk chaos followed by military intervention, followed by civil war-then talk. b)Talk now, reach some sort of formula, to allow elections which everyone will accept, the sooner the better. There will then be a chance of salvaging something from the current mess. Civil war is horrible.
Discussion 13 : 19/12/2013 at 11:52 PM
The people...you mean the anti government riot squad. "The people" means the majority. Suthep just thinks that everybody thinks like him. The last election proved him wrong. The next election will also.
Discussion 14 : 19/12/2013 at 11:41 PM
Why isn't this man in jail!? Imagine this man, screaming for people to burn the country to the ground, now reprimanding others on the rule of law? This is why we need reform BEFORE elections.
Discussion 15 : 19/12/2013 at 11:41 PM
When will Nattawut be in front of a court for the terrorism charges against him? He was one of the red-shirt leaders who told the red mob in 2010 to bring gasoline and burn down Bangkok. Will he ever go to jail for that?
Discussion 16 : 19/12/2013 at 11:29 PM
EC should just do their part, they should stay independence.
Discussion 17 : 19/12/2013 at 11:12 PM
We should hear the voice of the people - No reform, no election.
Discussion 18 : 19/12/2013 at 10:59 PM
Valid points. The EC should have no preference for any group or agenda. Interesting to note the new EC commissionor was recently selected by the appointed Senate in secret. Make your own conclusions.
Discussion 19 : 19/12/2013 at 10:17 PM
Nattawut delusion ,living too long on th red planet I guess…..

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