PT wants election on June 15

The Pheu Thai Party wants the election be held on June 15 as proposed by 53 smaller parties, not July 20 or 27 as earlier suggested by Election Commission member Somchai Srisuthiyakorn, party spokesman Prompong Nopparit said on Sunday.

Mr Prompong said Pheu Thai would send its leader Charupong Ruangsuwan to a meeting of political parties on April 22 under the invitation of the EC to discuss a framework for the new election.

He said the party would submit a proposal to the EC. The proposal would include calls for the election to be held in 60 days of the publication of a royal decree on the new poll, an amendment to a regulation to allow registration of candidates by mail or via the Internet and use of secure locations such as military or border patrol police camps as polling venues.

Pheu Thai would also call for the EC to take legal action against any groups which obstructed the election.

On a suggestion by Mr Somchai for the election to be held in 90 days of the announcement of the royal decree and the poll be held on either July 20 or 27, Mr Prompong said the party disagreed with this because it did not correspond to the current political conflict.

He said that on April 22 the EC should be able to fix a certain date for the election.

Pheu Thai agreed with a proposal made by 53 small parties for the election to be held on June 15.  If the majority agreed on this date, the EC should agree with it. If the EC insisted on holding the election on July 20 or 27 and a political crisis occurred, it must be held responsible, Mr Prompong said.

On the Democrat Party's conditions for it to contest the new election including requirements for the government to accept the judicial process, to take action against those who committed lese majeste, and to end a problem over the red shirts threatening to use force, Mr Prompong said he thought it was an attempt to use the issues as an excuse to again boycott the poll.

He said Pheu Thai and the government had always acceptedd the judicial process and taken action against people who insulted the royal institution.

Mr Prompong challenged Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva to announce on Apr 22 that his party would join the election, otherwise he should resign the party's leadership.

He claimed to have obtained information from a Democrat source that the party had tried to delay taking part in an election until a case against Mr Abhisit for murder in connection with the 2010 crackdown on red-shirt protesters is thrown out.

On the red shirts' rally against Mr Somchai while on an official trip to Lamphun province, Mr Prompong said the action was a mirror reflecting Mr Somchai's performance as an EC member.

The EC should find another commissioner to replace Mr Somchai in handling election management while Mr Somchai himself should ask to be assigned to new responsibilities, Mr Prompong said.

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