Election Commission urges govt to delay snap poll

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BANGKOK, Dec 26 – Thailand’s Election Commission (EC) today called on the government to postpone the February 2 general election until a joint agreement is reached among different quarters in society.

The EC’s plea was promptly made after a severe clash between police and anti-government protesters at the election registration venue in the Thai-Japanese stadium this morning in which more than 30 people were injured.

In an official statement released later today, the EC expressed regrets and apology over the violence – an incident which, it said, should not occur.

The five-member EC said it had ever warned the authorities in charge that the political situation could aggravate if the attempt for the poll continued and that it could lead to unrest, chaos, riot and bloodshed.

The party-list candidacy registration, which was carried out this morning, is just the beginning of the election process which will involve registration of constituency candidates, pre-election campaign, election, ballot counting and announcement of results, it explained.

It added, “If conflicts remain on whether the election should continue or not, it is hard to predict whether it will be held peacefully. The EC may not be able to hold a fair election as intended by the Constitution.”

“The EC would like to relay its message to the government, conflicting parties and all quarters in society which should be aware that the February 2 election will be impossible unless they come to an understanding and agreement.

“For peace in society, the EC asks the government to consider postponing the election until a joint agreement is reached. The EC is ready to mediate for a resolution. If nothing is done to improve the situation, the EC will exercise its right and authority to ease the situation as it sees fit.”