Nitirat urges EC to take action

Thammasat University’s Enlightened Jurists Group, known as Nitirat, has called on the Election Commission not to pass the buck on holding re-elections for the 28 constituencies which have no candidates to the caretaker government.

The law lecturers group held a press conference on the EC's responsibility regarding the election yesterday.

Worachet Pakeerut, a core member of Nitirat, said the EC’s recent resolution that the election re-run would be held on April 20 for the advance polling that did not take place in 83 constituencies on Jan 26 and on April 27 for the 10,284 polling stations where voting was abandoned due to anti-government protests on Feb 2 are too far in the future. He said it prolongs the possibility of having a new House of Representatives for which the constitution’s Section 127 stipulated that the new House must be convened in 30 days after a general election.

The EC’s rejection of having re-elections on March 30, the same day of senator elections, and citing the time frame would lead to massive protests and confusion, is just based on the EC’s imagination, he said.

''No matter any date, the EC has a responsibility to manage by any means until the election is achieved''.

''But the fact is that we have not seen the EC putting in its efforts and fully exercising its legal authority to prevent and resolve the messy situations. As a result, the EC could not use political turmoil as an excuse for ignorance of duty or delaying the process of the House of Representatives installation,’’ he said.

''Otherwise, any political turmoil would be always used as an excuse to obstruct the completion of an election next time,'' said Mr Worachet.

Piyabut Saengkanokkul, a Nitirat member, said the EC decision to hold the re-elections in April could bring about the question of legitimacy and might violate the election law as well as the Section 157 of Criminal Code regarding ignorance of duty.

In addition, the EC’s proposal that the caretaker government issue a new royal decree for the re-election in the 28 constituencies which have no candidates is without constitutional base, he said.

This is because the royal decree for the Feb 2 election remains in effect, the issuance of a new royal decree for any election being covered by the existing decree will duplicate, Mr Piyabut said. It could be interpreted that the election was not set in single day, which violates the constitution.

''The election failure in the 28 constituencies was the EC's fault. It refused to extend the candidate registration. The proposal of the government issuing a new royal decree can be viewed as the EC passing the buck to cover its faults,’’ said Mr Piyabut.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 17/02/2014 at 12:08 PM
The "very bad precedent for the future" has been set up squarely by the pt goiv't already. Before that one is taken care of and removed, any attempt to have a meaningful electiuon is just a pipe dream.
Discussion 2 : 17/02/2014 at 11:43 AM
The election has not been completed on a single day, and by the constitution is null and void. The police did not provide adequate security for candidate registration. The EC has followed the law, where laws exist to cover the circumstances. It is not in the power of the EC to make up new laws, only follow the existing laws that are in place. There again seems to be a strong push to get a Parliament seated before that 180 day mark gets here after the Senate voted down the amnesty bill. Remember, the amnesty bill is not dead.
Discussion 3 : 17/02/2014 at 09:34 AM
I agree with this man . An impartial and accurate legal opinion.
Discussion 4 : 17/02/2014 at 09:05 AM
Great common sense and a wise warning about setting a very bad precedent for the future: ''No matter any date, the EC has a responsibility to manage by any means until the election is achieved''. ''But the fact is that we have not seen the EC putting in its efforts and fully exercising its legal authority to prevent and resolve the messy situations. ''Otherwise, any political turmoil would be always used as an excuse to obstruct the completion of an election next time,'' said Mr Worachet.

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