70 to be invited to join in election talks

The government will invite about 70 people representing all stakeholders to a meeting tomorrow to discuss the Election Commission's request the government consider postponing the general election now set for Feb 2, caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana said on Tuesday.

He said the meeting would take opinions from all sides present, and hear the EC's reasons for making the proposal.

"Having received the EC's proposal, we want to hear its reasons.  There must first be an exchange of opinions of all concerned," Mr Pongthep said.

Somchai Srisuthiyakorn, an EC member in charge of electoral management, said he had not received an invitation letter from the government.

He said the talks proposed for Jan 15 might not lead to any conclusion, since it would involve too many people with different opinions.

Mr Sonchai suggested that initially the talks should be between the EC chairman and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

"We want the government and the EC to meet first to discuss our proposal.  The prime minister should first tell us what she thinks about our proposal and whether she has any suggestions.

"I don't think 70 people would be able to reach a conclusion even after two hours of talks.  Suppose that each of them speaks for about three minutes, the time would run out without any settlement being reached.

"I think the main parties (government and EC) should first hold talks to reach an agreement on some relevant matters before anything else," Mr Somchai said.

Mr Somchai said he would not represent the EC in the talks tomorrow, as called for by the government.  The EC would decide at a meeting who will represent it, he added.

If, in the end, the government still wants the election to be held as originally scheduled on Feb 2, the Election Commission would do that to the best of its ability, Mr Somchai said.

However, the government must be responsible for any consequences which might follow, Mr Somchai said.

The commissioner said he personally wanted to propose that the election be completely rescheduled and the early registrations of candidates be nullified.  In his opinion, the election could be held in early May after new rules and regulations have been in place and acceptable to all concerned.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 14/01/2014 at 04:45 PM
I agree with your opening comment but not your final one.
Discussion 2 : 14/01/2014 at 04:25 PM
What we all have are just presumptions. Some have written articles with deep thinking while some tried to dictate others decision and sound conclusive truthful. It could possibly help find solutions or worsen it. Or could discourage Thais not to join or encourage them instead to join the protest.
Discussion 3 : 14/01/2014 at 01:37 PM
This get-together should be hosted by an impartial party, not the Government.
Discussion 4 : 14/01/2014 at 01:00 PM
"In his opinion, the election could be held in early May after new rules and regulations have been in place and acceptable to all concerned." This is naive as a companion story said that the protest will Not engage in any dialogue nor accept any compromise. Objectively, this proposal, is sincere puts PT policy at the forefront of transparency, despite the objections from opponents.
Discussion 5 : 14/01/2014 at 12:57 PM
70 Thais in one room trying to reach an agreement on anything is stretching the bounds of reality. Two Thais will have at least three different opinions on anything so this is, as the EC stated, a non event. Also note the fact that the issue of reform is not even on the agenda. If the PTP was serious about this whole thing they would postpone the election and put together a small group of academics, business persons and legal authorities, not politicians, to get the reform issues out in the open. All they want to do is get the election won so they can say they have a mandate from the people and then go about "Business as usual."
Discussion 6 : 14/01/2014 at 12:50 PM
If my village is any measure then the political parties have ahead decided to postpone the election. Normally our area in Chonburi is hotly contested by everyone - I see not one poster for any candidate. The plus is also no loudspeaker vans!! Incidentally drove through north Pattaya yesterday and counted 2 poster both for the same candidate
Discussion 7 : 14/01/2014 at 12:44 PM
The election is scheduled for Feb 2 - The EC should get their butt in gear they know the rules. The majority of the country wants to vote to end this madness and have a government formed.
Discussion 8 : 14/01/2014 at 12:30 PM
Superficial hot air .
Discussion 9 : 14/01/2014 at 12:21 PM
Since one of the commissioners (a few weeks ago) said that IF all parties agree and IF allowed by law (not all agree that it is allowed by law) that the election can be delayed, all parties to the election process should be part of discussions should then not? This commission seems a little inconsistent as to make one suspect they are not neutral parties but are working to undermine the electoral process which is definitely a dereliction of duty under the law.
Discussion 10 : 14/01/2014 at 12:16 PM
The Election Commission will soon resign en masse. This would be the logical consequence of this charade.

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