Somchai seeks answers to 7 questions

Ahead of the talks with government representatives and academics on Monday over how to complete the Feb 2 election, Election Commission (EC) member for election management Somchai Srisuthiyakorn posted on his Facebook page seven questions which he said needed answers.

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The first question concerns the registration of candidates to run in polling in 28 southern constituencies which had no candidates running on Feb 2. Mr Somchai asked what should be done in case the registration process is met with strong resistance by the local people in each constituency.

He also spoke of concerns about the printing of ballot papers and how they would be delivered to the constituencies without being blocked by those opposed to the voting.

On the requirement for nine local people to be recruited to man each polling unit, he asked what should be done if no one cooperated?

On the distribution of ballots and polling equipment to each polling unit, he said at least five members of the committee of each unit are required to examine the ballots and equipment and sign a paper to accept them to ensure transparency. How could this be done smoothly, he asked?

Another question concerns problems which may arise on election day. He asked what could be done if ballots are not received, not all of the necessary equipment is available, not all of the required members of each polling units committee can be recruited and traffic routes to the polling units are blocked.

Then there was the problem of the role of police, military and administrative officials during the lead-up to election day to ensure successful voting. Could the EC order them to do as it wishes? Could the EC dismiss them from the electioneering process if they do not comply with an EC order?

The last question is about the 125 MPs in the party-list system. Since voting results from all 93,952 polling units are required in order to announce the winners of each party, what should be done to complete the voting at 10,284 units where voting was cancelled on Feb 2?

Without the party-list MPs being named, the House of Representatives would not be able to convene, Mr Somchai said.

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