Govt to discuss election process with EC this week

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BANGKOK, 19 May 2014,  – The government is ready to discuss fresh poll plans with the Election Commission (EC) this week, while admitting that the fresh election might not be held on July 20th as planned. 

According to Election Commissioner Somchai Srisuttiyakorn, the meeting is the continuation of last week’s discussion on 2 main topics: One, the authority of the caretaker Prime Minister, specifically whether he can submit a royal decree petition or acknowledge the royal command; the other, Section 4 in the royal decree, which grants the EC the power to suggest that the Interim Prime Minister reschedule the national poll date in case the situation is not favorable to organizing one.

Mr. Somchai said an agreement would be made to ensure the safety of the election and allow the EC to hold the election with ease as well as requesting backup from the security sector. Mr. Somchai, however, said his agency and the government would come up with a new appropriate date for the fresh poll, as the process of acquiring an election decree would likely push back the previous date of July 20th .

Meanwhile, Caretaker Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan confirmed that he would meet the EC again this week, adding that the meeting might be conducted through a video conference in order to prevent disruptions by the People’s Democratic Reform Committee. And if all goes well the cabinet might be able to propose a draft for the election decree. The Caretaker Premier also stressed that his interim government was ready to provide whatever required to accommodate the election process.