Constitutional Court permits rescheduling general election


BANGKOK, Jan 24 – Thailand’s Constitutional Court ruled unanimously today that the general election, set for Feb 2, can be postponed, instructing the caretaker prime minister and chairman of Election Commission (EC) to jointly issue a royal decree to reschedule the polls.

The EC earlier lodged a complaint with the court, seeking its judgement on whether the election could be postponed in light of the caretaker government’s insistence that it was not empowered by the law to do so.

The EC proposed to the Constitution Court that the government should issue a royal decree to set a new election date to enable all political parties to jointly find resolutions to ensure a smooth and peaceful election nationwide.

According to the EC, the caretaker prime minister failed to submit a royal decree (on the new election date) to His Majesty the King for royal approval but insisted through the media that neither the prime minister nor the EC was authorised to postpone the election.

All eight judges agreed that the snap poll could be delayed. The court also voted seven against one to entitle the caretaker prime minister and the EC chairman to reschedule the election.

Advance pollings are scheduled for Sunday – a week ahead of the general election.