EC: No relocation of election registration venue, no extension of registration period

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BANGKOK, Dec 23 – Thailand’s Election Commission (EC) today reaffirmed that the election registration venue will not be relocated and that there will be no extension of the registration period despite the venue blockade by anti-government protesters.

EC chairman Supachai Somcharoen said the poll commissioners have resolved to proceed with the party-list MP candidacy registration at the Thai-Japanese sports stadium which started today until Friday although the protesters of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) have blocked the venue entrance since early morning.

Mr Supachai said candidates from nine parties managed to enter the compound, including the ruling Pheu Thai Party and its coalition Chartthaipattana Party.

He said 25 other parties could not reach the venue and have filed complaints at Din Daeng police Station to notify their intention to contest in the party-list election, while another party filed a complaint at the Police’s Crime Suppression Division.

The EC chairman however said today’s registration by 34 parties cannot be considered as complete process as the agency still has to verify the documents, receive registration payment and endorse the applications.

He said drawing lots to distribute party-list numbers will not be carried out today. He reaffirmed that the registration venue will not be relocated and the registration period will not be extended, but said the EC will assess the situation closely and inform the public of any change.

The EC chairman brushed aside allegations that the EC cooperated with the parties to allow them to register candidacy as early as 3am, saying that political parties have turned up at the venue so early as they want to get lucky numbers or one digit number.

Any party that came before 8.30am would be recorded as arriving at 8.30am and would draw lots to arrange the order before the lot-drawing to choose numbers for parties running in the election.

Mr Supachai said the Din Daeng Police Station is not the venue of election candidacy registration, but political parties were asked to go there to file police complaints as evidence that they could not enter the Thai-Japanese sports stadium.

He said that the EC commissioners and staff tried to enter the compound since early morning but were blocked by protesters. The five commissioners have not discussed moving the venue and do not want to do anything to incite the public.