Cabinet shunts decision on poll decree

The cabinet on Tuesday made no decision on a request by the Election Commission for a new royal decree for poll re-runs in 28 southern constituencies where there were no candidates in the Feb 2 election.

Instead, the cabinet opted to acknowledge the Council of State's advice that a new royal decree could not be issued because the old one is still in effect, government deputy spokesman Pakdiharn Himathongkham said.

It made no decision on the EC's request.

Mr Pakdiharn said the cabinet had a wide ranging discussion on the EC's request.

The EC wants an official cabinet resolution so that it can  seek the Constitution Court's ruling on what to do, citing the legal conflict between it and the government over the matter.

The cabinet agreed not to respond to the request.  Instead, it merely acknowledged a letter from the Council of State which advised that the EC has the authority of hold poll re-runs without requiring a royal decree, Mr Pakdiharn said.

The spokesman said the cabinet was of the opinion that it was not necessary for it to make a resolution, and that it was up to the caretaker prime minister and the EC to consult each other to find a way out.

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