EC upsets Pheu Thai poll plan

The Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday dampened the Pheu Thai Party's hopes of having sufficient MPs to open the House of Representatives next month.

Election commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said after a meeting at Thammasat University's Rangsit campus that the EC had decided to scrap a plan on poll reruns for April 20 and 27 and decided to organise elections in five provinces on March 2.

Elections will be held only at 74 polling units in Phetchaburi and another 27 in Rayong, he said. The two provinces could not hold polls at those stations on Feb 2 because of blockades by anti-government protesters.

Advance voting reruns will be held in Phetchabun, Samut Songkhram and Samut Sakhon after having been cancelled on Jan 26, he added.

Pheu Thai had pressed the EC to hold immediate poll reruns in all areas, including 28 constituencies in nine provinces troubled by anti-government protesters on Feb 2 so that the results could be announced with the hope of having at least 95% of members approved to convene the House next month.

The House needs at least 475 of 500 members to select a prime minister.

But Mr Somchai said the EC will seek a Constitution Court ruling to interpret the legality of those 28 constituencies as it is locked in a legal dispute with Pheu Thai.

The EC favours another royal decree for a new election in those constituencies as it could be regarded as another election due to no candidates being registered with officials for the Feb 2 contest. But Pheu Thai argued that the present royal decree is enough as it should be treated as part of the unfinished general election.

Pheu Thai legal experts are concerned that issuing another royal decree on holding two elections at the same time could be a political trap. It could be used by its opponents to take the issue to the Constitution Court to dissolve the party, they added.

All 28 constituencies are in the southern region. They are in Chumphon, Ranong, Surat Thani, Phangnga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang, Phatthalung and Songkhla.

Share your thoughts

Back to top

More From