EC defers decisions on polling problems

The Election Commission was not able to make any decisions on various problems concerning the Feb 2 election at its meeting Thursday, but expects to get the answers needed on Friday, commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said.

Mr Somchai, who is in charge of electoral management, said the only resolution made at Thursday's meeting was for the EC to act on behalf of some 10 million people who were not able to vote on Jan 26 and Feb 2 due to many problems including the blocking of polling units. They would be able to keep their right to vote intact by notifying the Local Administration Department's director-general, in his capacity as director of the Central Registration Office.

By doing this, the 10 million people would not have to lodge a complaint by themselves, he said.

The EC could not yet decide on what to do with the following problems - the 28 constituencies with no candidates, the 12,000 polling units where voting was cancelled, the date for a new round of advance voting in lieu of Jan 26 and the 16 constituencies with only one candidate.

Because of the legal complications over these problems, if the EC made a decision without a thorough examination of all aspects it could lead to lawsuits being filed for the Feb 2 election to be nullified, he said.

Therefore, the EC would hold a meeting with members of its legal advisory committee on Friday.  It was believed the meeting would get the answers to all problems.

Moreover, on Feb 14, the EC would invite caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana, caretaker PM's Office Minister Varathep Rattanakorn, Pheu Thai's strategies committee member Pokin Polakul and former EC member Sodsri Sattayatham to a meeting to explore ways of holding a successful election in the future.

The EC might later invite diplomats of various countries and representatives of international organisations to a meeting to explain to them all unusual factors surrounding Thailand's elections and what it would do in the future.

The director-general of the Public Relations Department and director of the National Broadcasting of Thailand (NBT) television station, or Channel 11, might also be invited to discuss public relations work to make the people see the importance of elections, Mr Somchai said.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 07/02/2014 at 07:07 AM
Somchai: the accusation that the election was "illegal and unconstitutional" has been made by various people including yourself and K. Abhisit. However no one has yet laid out a clearly argued case as to why they believe that's the case. Indeed the Democrats are still "gathering evidence" - something they might normally have been expected to do prior to making an accusation. Anyway I for one would be interested to see your case. Then we could all decide whether it indeed has any merit.
Discussion 2 : 06/02/2014 at 11:58 PM
There is only one problem with the election and that it was illegal and unconstitutional. There should be severe punishment handed down to those responsible for wasting 3.8 billions of taxpayers money. Make an example now so this dosen't happen in the future.
Discussion 3 : 06/02/2014 at 07:59 PM
Making a mountain out of a mole hill. There is only one problem with the election and that is the illegal and unconstitutional blocking of voters rights. There should be severe punishment handed down to those responsible for denying another persons rights. Make an example now so this dosen't happen in the future.

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