No more EC talks, Varathep says

Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Varathep Rattanakorn insisted yesterday there was no need for the government to discuss postponing the Feb 2 poll with the Election Commission.

Mr Varathep was responding to the EC's call for caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to arrange a meeting to discuss deferring the election.

He reiterated that the government did not have the authority to postpone the poll date.

If the EC wanted to press ahead with its idea to seek a Constitution Court interpretation on the actual scope of the caretaker government's power regarding an election postponement, the administration would have no comment, Mr Varathep said.

Mr Varathep said all he could say was that the EC should carry on with its task of organising the election.

Over the past few weeks, the government had resolved two major obstacles and the rest of the procedures should be completed by the EC, he said.

Mr Varathep said the government had solved the shortage of state officers to take care of the polling stations and had assigned the National Police Office, the Interior Ministry and the Education Ministry to ensure security for the EC.

It was the EC's responsibility to deal with the 28 constituencies where no candidate could register for the election.

As it stands, not enough constituents would be elected to formalise the first House session after the election.

Mr Varathep said he was not worried about the role of the EC or the National Anti-Corruption Commission, even though they appear to be putting a lot of pressure on the government.

Society understood what was happening and could decide who was right and who was wrong, he said.

The government has taken a firm stance that reform has to be conducted along with the election, as it would be impossible to agree to changes in the short time available before the poll.

Mr Varathep said in the week ahead the parties taking part in the poll would announce an agreement to start reform after the election.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 20/01/2014 at 01:51 AM
Democracy will not be democracy if not all is playing along. Even it they have an election, it will not be successful because not enough people so all the money spend of a useless election will just go down the drain.
Discussion 2 : 19/01/2014 at 02:31 PM
Only Pheu Thai is running. The other parties have come in behind them to cover if they are eliminated for vote buying and making up the numbers for single candidates but this has not worked well because there are 21 single contested seats where the candidate have to win 20% of the electoral list votes. If "No" votes were counted Pheu Thai would not get a seat in the south
Discussion 3 : 19/01/2014 at 01:44 PM
I still do not want to believe government is taking them as meat on the chopping board to fleece them evilly. Thailand is the top rice exporter in the world for many decades. Contribution of rice farmers is great and plaudit. People in the apex office will treat them propitiously.
Discussion 4 : 19/01/2014 at 12:21 PM
The constitution states that national elections have to take place on the same day in all the kingdom but also states has to take place no less than 45 days but no more than 60 days from when the house is dissolved. So either way, if the election takes place under the current circumstances or is called off, one way or the other they will be going against the constitution.
Discussion 5 : 19/01/2014 at 10:44 AM
Even if EC prevents candidate registrations in the south, we can still vote and show them we want democracy not dictators and EC has no legal power to block that election.
Discussion 6 : 19/01/2014 at 10:42 AM
"the current rice "pledge" bill expires end of February - Does that have anything to do with the rush to have the election." - If so, that only justifies the push for elections even more. PTP enemies are doing everything to sabotage the payments due.
Discussion 7 : 19/01/2014 at 10:32 AM
We keep hearing "This is not legal, that is not legal about this election. One would have thought that going into an election knowing that it will not get a parliament was a serious offence. Three dodgy bills have yet to be sorted out and another 300 candidates could be sidelined
Discussion 8 : 19/01/2014 at 10:26 AM
It's painfully aware that they know very little. And it looks like it is going to cost them.
Discussion 9 : 19/01/2014 at 10:24 AM
Incredible! Who are the parties running for the election? Could anyone Thai or otherwise name 2 of them off the top of their heads. What are the rules regarding no contest? Because it definitely isn't going to be a contest
Discussion 10 : 19/01/2014 at 10:01 AM
Interesting , so far no "Thaksin thinks and no body does " this time. Do Issan rice farmers know the current rice "pledge" bill expires end of February - Does that have anything to do with the rush to have the election.

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