Chaturon: Election delay useless, military should lend EC helping hand


BANGKOK, 27 January 2014 Education Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng says he fears that an election delay might exacerbate the political divisions and urges the Election Commission (EC) to ask the military to provide security at polling stations. 

The minister on Monday gave an interview on the 2 February national election after the Sunday advance poll in some areas were disrupted by protests, saying the Constitution Court did not rule that the election must be postponed. The court just said the government and the EC could delay the poll if it affected national security. Therefore, it was up to the premier and the EC chairman to decide whether to put off the election, the minister said.

Mr Chaturon expressed his personal view that a delay in the election was of no use since the anti-government protesters did not want an election to take place before a political reform. They would continue occupying state offices and disrupting the poll, resulting in more damages to the country, the minister added.

Regarding disruptions to the advance poll on 26 January, the minister suggested that the EC should request for military officers to safeguard polling stations and take legal actions against the people who obstructed the election.