Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said the National Legislative Assembly’s decision yesterday to reject proposed Election Commissioners was entirely its own and the military junta had nothing to do with it.
Asked if there had been government interference, Gen Prawit said, “No, no, there was no order from the junta at all, none. The NLA just proceeded with the matter following its procedures.”
Nor would the candidates’ rejection affect plans for local elections “for now”, he said.
The situation would be clearer by June, when political parties are supposed to be ready to contest the election, he said.
In a closed-door meeting yesterday (February 22), the NLA voted overwhelmingly to reject all seven candidates put forward for the commission.
Another round in the selection process began immediately and by law will have to be completed within 90 days.
The law requires that candidates receive at least 125 votes out of a possible 248 votes in the NLA to become election commissioners. The seven named yesterday fell short of that.
NLA president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai maintained that the initial candidates’ rejection would not affect the government’s election “roadmap”.