file photo
file photo

First poll results to be released by 6pm on Sunday: EC

politics March 22, 2019 01:00

By THE NATION

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SOME election results will be available just an hour after voting in the long-awaited national poll ends at 5pm on Sunday, the Election Commission (EC) vowed yesterday. 



The agency’s secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma said results can be expected in less than an hour from polling stations where the turnout is not too large, adding that unofficial results from at least 95 per cent of the polling stations should be ready by 8pm on Sunday. 

These results will reveal the number of constituency seats won by each party, but figures on party-list seats will not be released until after the EC has officially endorsed the election results, Jarungvith added. 

“The agency will not do the calculations to find out the number of party-list MPs on Sunday. Also, numbers may change, especially if by-elections are required or if ballots need to be recounted in some areas. We can only reveal the results once we have endorsed the votes,” he said. 

More than 92,000 polling stations will be operating on Sunday, he said, adding that all ballot papers and equipment will be distributed a day earlier on Saturday. 

Jarungvith also encouraged voters to be on the alert for any breach of law, promising a Bt100,000 reward for evidence of bribery or vote-buying which results in the disqualification of candidates or a rerun of the vote. 

Meanwhile, civil-society groups led by rights watchdog iLaw have launched the vote62.com website to serve as a platform for updates on election results and as a means to prevent fraud during the counting of ballots. 

Those participating in ballot counting can take photographs of the counting board and post the pictures on the website, while those keeping track of the vote-count on TV or online platforms can enter tallies or upload photos on the website. 

The group said the results displayed on the website will later be compared by the official results released by the EC to ensure transparency. 

The Health Department meanwhile has issued tips, with director-general Panpimol Wipulakorn advising voters to get at least six hours sleep before casting their vote. 

Voters have also been urged to wear light clothes because the temperature on Sunday is expected to rise above 40 degrees Celsius. 

“There is a risk of heatstroke,” Panpimol warned, adding that people could stay hydrated by drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day. 

“Use an umbrella or wear a hat when you head out to vote,” she said, reminding people that those who had cast their votes in advance on March 17 found themselves queuing for hours in searing heat.