Rules of conduct and campaigning set by EC

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Acting Spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office Puthipong Punnakan.
Acting Spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office Puthipong Punnakan.

Bangkok – The Election Commission (EC) has prepared a space on the second floor of its headquarters to register MP candidates and proposed Prime Ministers starting this February 4, while Bangkok authorities have decided which roadways and connecting sois can be used for the placement of campaign posters.

The EC has announced on its website that it will be registering MP candidates at its headquarters in Bangkok and at all district offices. The commission has asked all parties to be mindful that the law only allows them to print twice the number of campaign posters as there are constituencies, saying that they should be placed so as to not obstruct pedestrians and traffic. Posters cannot be placed at the entries to sois, on trees, electricity poles or road barriers nor in a 10 meter radius of any bus stop. Posters are also banned around the Grand Palace and along Rajadamnoen Road.

Party list MP candidates can only be registered after a party has registered its constituency runners, which is also a prerequisite for indicating a party pick for Prime Minister. Each candidate costs 10,000 baht to register and registration must take place between February 4 and 8. Parties will take part in two separate draws to decide their running numbers.

The government has held a meeting with the EC on how civil servants should act during the general election. The commission indicated it already has rules of conduct for government officials during the election period, explaining that legal ramifications may have to be considered before Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha can reveal if he will run for the post. Cabinet retreats and use of social media by civil servants will be allowed to continue, but appropriateness will be maintained.

Acting Spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office Puthipong Punnakan remarked that the PM may suspend his use of social media until the election and will be mindful of personal visits, including the Cabinet retreat taking place on February 5. The Prime Minister’s Office may be subject to an order to remain neutral and support only the overall conducting of the election.