The current Election Commissioners (EC) have full authority to manage the next general election, as well as local elections, despite the rejection of the entire seven proposed new EC candidates by the legislators, election commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn said on Friday.
Concerns have been raised about the possibility of further election delays after the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) yesterday voted down the seven finalist candidates.
The originally scheduled November election date was likely to be delayed to early 2019 after the NLA recently passed the organic bill on MP elections. That bill contained a clause delaying its enforcement date by 90 days after it is published in the Royal Gazette. According to the 2017 charter, the next election must be held within 150 days after its enforcement.
Somchai urged the public not to be concerned by the rejection of proposed new commissioners because it will not affect the election.
However, he estimated it would take around six months before the new EC can perform their duties, Somchai said.
By law, it will take three months for a new round of candidate selection. It would then take another 45 days for the NLA to set up a committee and scrutinise candidates’ qualifications and work through the approval process, and an additional 15 days for the new commissioners to resign from their current posts as required under the EC law before submitting their names for Royal approval.
After those new commissioners were officially approved, the current EC members would leave office. The replacement of the EC members was required under the new organic law governing the agency.