Phongthep’ confident about January 26 advance voting


BANGKOK, 20 January 2014 Deputy Prime Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana expressed his confidence that the upcoming early elections on January 26 will go smoothly if the Election Commission (EC) properly carries out its duties.

Mr. Phongthep stated that the EC must continue with the February 2 general election – adding that the election process will go smoothly if the EC appropriately carries out its duties. The government, Mr. Phongthep said, will support the election and dispatch army and police officials to ensure safety during the elections.

In regard to the EC’s concerns over holding elections in areas where constituency MP candidates have been unable to register and mulling over proposing a royal decree to postpone the election date, the Deputy Prime Minister pointed out that since 1997, no elections had been postponed by a royal decree due to zero registrants in the area. He also said that he believed the EC would still be able to manage the printing of voting ballots at the Teachers Council of Thailand’s printing house in Lat Phrao, which had recently been besieged by the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) protesters.

As for the demands by the private sector to postpone the election date, Mr. Phongthep stated that the government is bound by law to hold elections within 60 days of parliament being dissolved.