EC stands firm on poll date meeting

Election Commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn has refused Caretaker Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan’s plea to attend a government-led meeting on the proposed deferment of the 2 Feb general election on Wednesday.

All five Election Commission (EC) members earlier resolved to turn down the invitation to attend the meeting at the Royal Thai Air Force HQ on Wednesday at 10am, to which 70 people representing various agencies have been invited to discuss whether the polls should be postponed.

Mr Somchai, the commissioner in charge of election management, said EC members had agreed not to attend and would instead assign secretary-general Puchon Nutrawong to represent them at the meeting. EC members were of the opinion that a meeting involving so many people would not lead to any useful conclusion, only more conflict, he said.

The EC has meanwhile scheduled a private meeting with the caretaker government for Thursday Jan 16.

But Mr Charupong asked that Mr Somchai attend the broader Wednesday meeting on the issue. The EC commissioner stood firm, refusing the invitation again. He said he turned down the plea after the interior minister told him later that he would be unable to attend the Wednesday meeting. He will be otherwise engaged with official tasks and will send Deputy Interior Minister Visarn Techatheerawat to represent him instead.

Mr Somchai then asked the minister to attend the talks on the proposed deferment of the polls on Thursday, when all five members of the EC will meet caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. 

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 16/01/2014 at 05:25 AM
And what then? You need to think about what would happen next.
Discussion 2 : 15/01/2014 at 09:39 AM
How would that fix anything a few weeks before an election in which she'd be re-elected again? Or do you mean suspend elections indefinitely until rules are rewritten allowing your side to always win?
Discussion 3 : 15/01/2014 at 09:09 AM
Yes, the easiest way to solve this problem is for YS to resign.
Discussion 4 : 15/01/2014 at 08:54 AM
We all know Thaksin will not condone that if he did his return looks unlikely.except to face his prison term..
Discussion 5 : 15/01/2014 at 08:09 AM
It is quite simple to solve these problems : YS and the government should resign.
Discussion 6 : 15/01/2014 at 06:41 AM
The EC failed to register the candidates and have repeadelty tried to call off the election. The EC have never even spoken positively about this election. The EC seem to have failed their job and the people.
Discussion 7 : 15/01/2014 at 06:05 AM
What a pity they won't talk to each other and can't agree on a meeting date. On this important and urgent issue just pick up the phone and talk. These people always put their interests before the people's interest. They should be reminded that taxpayers are paying for every minute they wasted.
Discussion 8 : 15/01/2014 at 06:05 AM
The EC made the right decision not to attend the government-led meeting. The EC is impartial, but what about the 70 people the government picked, how impartial are they? EC is right, too many people will not lead to any useful discussion.
Discussion 9 : 15/01/2014 at 01:08 AM
"the interior minister told him later that he would be unable to attend the Wednesday meeting. He will be otherwise engaged with official tasks and will send Deputy " I wonder what meeting could be more important? Maybe one of the topics of political reform might be for ministers to do their job.
Discussion 10 : 15/01/2014 at 12:08 AM
I have to agree with the EC. A 70 people meeting is just too many to lead to any useful conclusion. Besides, it is a moot point anyway. The constitution mandates the election without delay. We can't disobey the almighty constitution, can we?
Discussion 11 : 15/01/2014 at 12:03 AM
That is exactly why they were invited to a meeting with all parties as opposed to just meeting with one. The EC should be impartial -- but I don't think they are able to separate their personal sympathies with the anti-government protesters and their duties. If they were focused on their duties they would have done everything to make sure the registration was completed as best they could - but instead they did as little as they could get away with. It was pretty obvious when the one commission came out and indicated that the election could be delayed if legal and if all parties agreed. Professional behaviour would be know the law first.
Discussion 12 : 14/01/2014 at 11:28 PM
Not sure why the EC would be invited, as they should remain impartial.
Discussion 13 : 14/01/2014 at 11:27 PM
Yes, there is a lot of clowning, isn't there? It suggests to me that more than one "puppet" is being manipulated by hands under the stage.
Discussion 14 : 14/01/2014 at 10:54 PM
These are the people who are supposed to solve the problems of the country and they can't even agree on a meeting date. "Mr. Churapong will be otherwise engaged with official tasks." Maybe his boss, the PM, should tell him that there aren't any more important official tasks than solving this issue before the poll date. What a group of clowns!

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