The Nation


February 2 Election

Bt4 billion allocated for snap election

The caretaker government on Tuesday approved an allocation of Bt3.88 billion for the February 2 general election.

Chalitrat Chandrubeksa, deputy government spokesman, said international organisations and media will be invited to observe the nationwide poll.

He said the foreign and interior ministries had been assigned to coordinate with the Election Commission (EC) for the participation of international agencies in order to have their firsthand accounts of the election.

Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was also standing firm on her earlier statement that she is obliged by the Constitution to continue with her administrative responsibility until a new government takes office.

"The Constitution doesn't allow a caretaker government to resign. That's why I can't follow the protesters' demand," she said.

The Antigovernment protesters have repeatedly called on Yingluck and the caretaker cabinet to resign to pave the way for a national reform before an election is held.

She added, "Now that the royal decree has set February 2 for the election, I'd like to urge all parties to follow it and move on with the election process. Let the people elect their leaders to run the country. The government is willing to help the Election Commission to ensure a fair election by inviting all parties to witness it."

She said she has until next Monday to decide if she would run in the snap poll as the first candidate on the Pheu Thai's party list.

The EC set has December 2327 for candidates to submit their applications to run in the election.

Yingluck said she welcomed proposals and opinions from various political forums on Thailand's reform but insisted that the timing for a national reform must be in accordance with the Constitution. She said she personally advocated national reform after the election.

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