Planned polls in doubt, says EC chief

Election Commission chairman Supachai Somcharoen on Friday cast doubt on a planned election due to concern over escalating political tensions after anti-government protesters launched a major rally.

Mr Supachai said the EC would continue preparations for the polls tentatively set for July 20 but said the political situation could be a stumbling block for the planned schedule.

The EC plans to meet the caretaker government led by acting caretaker Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan on Wednesday even though the government urged for the talks to move forward to Monday.

Mr Supachai on Friday insisted on having the meeting on Wednesday, saying election officials already scheduled another meeting on Monday.

''The situation is being monitored because the election will be difficult to be held if the situation worsens,'' he said.

''If the election planned for July 20 runs into a problem, it will be rescheduled,'' he said, adding the defer will be the responsibility of Somchai Srisuthiyakorn, an election commissioner.

Mr Supachai said a new date for the general election must be thrashed out by political parties and said the EC did not want to see a repeat of nullified Feb 2 polls.

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