EC decides to ask government to issue new election bill


BANGKOK, 11 January 2014 The Election Commission reached a a unanimous decision on Friday to propose that the government issue a new bill to reschedule the general election. 

Election Commissioner Somchai Sisutthiyakon revealed the EC had proposed the government first consult with other political parties, then proceed to issue a new decree for a general election. He said the EC had 6 major reasons for the proposal. In addition, 28 constituencies in 8 provinces did not have any candidate. This means that even if the general election were held, there would be fewer than the required 95% of MPs required by law. Furthermore, there were 22 constituencies with only 1 running candidate; if these candidates fail to garner at least 20% of all eligible votes in his/her constituency, re-elections would have to be held.

The EC also believed that efforts to obstruct the poll were intensifying, while its recruitment of replacement election officials had not been adequately supported by state agencies. Furthermore, the Auditor General’s Office had asked the EC to reconsider its decision to go ahead with the general election, as the office was concerned that pressing ahead with the poll and spending the 3.8 billion baht associated with the process would not yield any benefits should the problem of the 28 constituencies with no runners force the poll results to be annulled.