EC to seek court ruling on poll re-run

The Election Commission is to ask the Constitution Court to rule on whether the government must seek a new royal decree for a poll re-run in 28 constituencies in the South, Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said on Wednesday.

Protesters blocked the registration of election candidates for the Feb 2 election in the 28 constituencies.

Mr Somchai, the EC member in charge of election management, said caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana on Tuesday forwarded the Council of State's opinion on the matter to the cabinet.

The council's opinion is that a new royal decree is not necessary because the old one is still in effect. The council also said that the EC is duty-bound to complete the election as required by the law. The EC disagrees and had asked the government to issue a cabinet resolution on how to complete the general election in the 28 southern constituencies.

But since the official acknowledgement of the Council of State's view on the issue, the EC has accepted that a cabinet resolution will not be made and is moving ahead with its attempt to counter the caretaker government's stance.

"The cabinet's acknowledgement of the (council's) advice is enough. Before this, the Council of State's opinion had not been forwarded to the cabinet. Since the cabinet acknowledged it yesterday, it is not necessary for the EC to wait for an official reply from the government," Mr Somchai said.

EC secretary-general Puchong Nutrawong said the EC now had everything it needed to confirm a legal conflict between itself and the government over the poll re-run in the 28 constituencies.

He said he had drafted a letter of request for a Constitution Court ruling on the issue. The draft will be submitted to an EC meeting tomorrow for endorsement and signatures before being sent to the Constitution Court.

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