Bangkok – The Election Commission (EC) has invited political parties to discuss the format of election campaigning, finding some disagreement among parties regarding candidate numbers and campaign posters.
Chusak Sirinin, head of Pheu Thai Party’s legal team, voiced concern over the cap on campaign posters, which are limited to twice the number of polling units in an electoral district, exacerbated by the ban on campaign posters along the district’s boundaries. The regulation was introduced as a way of preventing confusion among voters regarding their electorate’s candidates, to which Chusak recommended a single nationwide number for candidates from the same party.
Nikorn Chamnong, Director of the Chartthaipattana Party, expressed his opposition to the single number proposal. He said that the proposal would require legislative amendments and could lead to a delay in the general election. Regarding the use of multiple portraits on a single campaign poster, Nikorn claims that the EC does not have a regulation against it. In the specific case of the Chartthaipattana Party, adding former Prime Minister Banharn Silpa-archa’s portrait to the poster would not violate the prohibition on non-member individuals influencing the party, given that he is deceased and therefore cannot influence party policy.
Supachai Jaisamut of Bhumjaithai also opposed the single number proposal, echoing concerns that it may delay the election. He added that he does not take issue with the use of candidate portraits on campaign posters, arguing that if all parties follow the same rules, then no party has an unfair advantage.
Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, Secretary-General of the Future Forward Party, said that candidate portraits are a non-issue, asserting that people tend to vote based on the party. However, he called for greater freedom of expression on social media, including the ability to campaign on digital platforms. He noted that social media campaigning is relatively affordable compared to other forms of mass media.
Chinnaworn Bunyakiat, Deputy Leader of the Democrat Party called for a three-phase approach to the elections. In the first phase, the EC should publicize the format of the election to the public. In the second phase, the EC should screen candidate qualifications. In the final phase, the EC would regulate campaigning to eliminate any violations of the law.
Wichian Chavalit, Registrar of the Palang Pracharat Party, expressed satisfaction with the campaign financing cap of two million baht per MP candidate. Regarding the issue of dual portraits, he said the law is clear that individuals who don’t belong to the party’s management or membership cannot come to dominate or direct the party.