The Nation



Postpone election and restore rule of law

I fully agree with Election Commission chairman Supachai Somcharoen that, "It is not hard to predict that the election will not be smooth, fair and transparent under the present circumstances," with Network of Students and People for Reform of Thailand ramming a truck into stadium gates to disrupt the ballot number draw and throwing stones, one police officer killed, and one protest guard shot in the head.

Caretaker Deputy PM Phongthep Thepkanjana cannot bleat that the law doesn't allow the government to postpone the election date. Would Yingluck still insist on a February 2 poll if much of the country remained underwater, as happened a few years ago, with polling stations submersed and voters living on rooftops?

For its part, Suthep's People's Democratic Reform Committee should clearly separate itself from those who have abandoned non-violence, so that the authorities can restore rule of law. But when they do, Yingluck must use only the minimum force needed. For starters, she must publicly and quickly discipline the four riot policemen photographed energetically beating a sole protester who was clearly empty-handed (Bangkok Post, front page, December 27).

Let's have an election that's smooth, fair, and transparent - which isn't possible in the midst of a battlefield.

Burin Kantabutra


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