Govt to talk only with EC chairman

The government will send a letter to Election Commission chairman Supachai Somcharoen advising him of the conclusions of the meeting of representatives of various organisations yesterday to discuss EC's proposal for the deferment of the election scheduled for Feb 2, caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana said on Thursday.

Share on Google+
LINE it!

He said from now on the government would communicate directly with the EC chairman, because it was not clear whether the opinions made public by one EC member were his own or a resolution of the whole Election Commission.

Mr Pongthep was clearly referring to Somchai Srisuthiyakorn, election commissioner in charge of election managment, who has said the EC wants the government to postpone the election. This prompted the government to invite representatives of all agencies concerned with the election to a meeting at Royal Thai Air Force headquarters yesterday.

It was concluded at the meeting that the government should go ahead with the Feb 2 election.

The Election Commission was represented only by its secretary-general. There were no commissioners present.

"We don't know whether what one EC member has said is the opinion of all five EC members.  From now on, to make sure, we will directly communicate only with the EC chairman," he said.

Mr Pongthep said the government had not received an official letter inviting caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to meet with the EC, as foreshadowed by Mr Somchai.

Asked about concerns that if the election were held on Feb 2 as scheduled there could be chaos afterwards, Mr Pongthep said it was the responsibility of the EC to do all it could to ensure polling went ahead.

If, in the end, there was chaos then it would not be the EC's fault, the Election Commission would not be held responsible and those who caused disturbances would be to blame, he added.

Mr Ponthep stressed that the Feb 2 election is required by the constitution and a royal decree.  From all legal points of view, there were no mechanisms which could postpone it, and he believed the EC knew this well, he said.

Asked whether he thought the EC members should resign, Mr Pongthep said the matter was for the commissioners to decide themselves.

Share your thoughts

Back to top

More From