Election Commission finding new guidelines for polls


BANGKOK, Feb 10 – Election Commission (EC) member Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said today he will discuss measures with the government to complete the general election within the required deadline imposed by the Constitution.

The key questions are how to acquire 95 per cent of all Lower House MPs within 30 days of the Feb 2 general election, and how to have all elected MPs – both party-list and constituency-elected members – within 180 days, he said.

He said it would be impossible to announce 125 party-list MPs unless elections are successfully held in 93,000 polling stations throughout the country.

“How do we deal with it if balloting is disrupted at a polling station? Everyone must give a reply and we are ready to follow,” said Mr Somchai.

Among those to be invited for next Monday’s meeting are caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana, caretaker Labour Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, caretaker Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Varathep Ratanakorn, former EC member Sodsri Sattayatham and Pheu Thai Party executive Bhokin Balakula.

Mrs Sodsri earlier said the EC was obliged to announce the election results within 30 days after the Feb 2 polls – a remark which, according to Mr Somchai, would be another question to be discussed now that problems from the incomplete advance election would also must be resolved.

Mr Somchai said he would listen to all suggestions and proposed resolutions in next Monday’s meeting, and forward them to the five-member EC for further action.