Democrats likely to take part in next election : source

national March 28, 2014 00:00

By The nation

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The Democrats will run in the upcoming election, a high-ranking source said yesterday.

The source said many Democrats would ask for a secret ballot to vote on whether the party should join the election and most would vote to join.

The source said it the secret ballot would be proposed for today instead of tomorrow as originally set so it could be staged before the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee’s scheduled mass rally tomorrow. 
That way PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban cannot use the rally to try to sway the Democrats’ decision, the source said.
The Democrat Party’s general assembly is scheduled for today and tomorrow.
Suthep has been adamant that elections can only be held after national reforms are put in place. 
The Students and People’s Network for Thailand’s Reform (STR) yesterday led large crowds to rally at the Election Commission (EC), calling on the agency to cancel the Senate election scheduled for Sunday.
The group asked the EC to implement reforms to ensure free and fair elections before the poll is held.
The STR, led by Nitithorn Lamlua and Uthai Yodmanee, submitted a letter to EC secretary-general Puchong Nutrawong, saying that politicians and capitalists – rather than the public – are the groups that have benefited the most from previous elections.
The EC should first reform the electoral and political systems before holding a new election, otherwise the country will not be able to move on, the group said.
The group said the EC members should consider resigning if they cannot hold a free and fair election.
Puchong said he would submit the group’s proposal to the EC meeting yesterday. 
However, he said the EC would continue to carry out its duty as long as the Constitution is in effect.

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