EC: Southern polls might need to be adjourned to March


BANGKOK, 30 January 2014  Member of the Election Commission (EC) Somchai Srisutthiyakorn has admitted difficulty in holding the general election in the South and indicated a possibility of deferring the election day to March if ballots cannot be cast. 

Mr Somchai revealed that ballot papers for the constituency system had already arrived in every province and were waiting to be distributed to each polling booth on February 1. However, he said the party-list ballots were problematic as the ones to be used in 14 southern provinces were trapped inside the post offices in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Chumphon and Songkhla provinces due to protesters’ besiegement of the premises.

The election commissioner pointed out that even if the polls were to go on without the party-list ballots, there were no constituency MP candidates registered in 8 provinces in the South, accounting for 28 constituencies. Under the circumstance, he admitted that the election in the region might have to be rescheduled, possibly for March 2.

On the other hand, Mr Somchai expressed interest in a recent statement made by Mr Suthep Thaugsuban, Secretary-General of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee. Mr Suthep reportedly claimed that the upcoming election would violate Section 108 of the Constitution, given it would fail to be completed within 45-60 days after the House dissolution.