EC seeks talks with PM on new voting

national February 10, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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The Election Commission plans by tomorrow at the latest to send its letter to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra inviting her to discuss a new date for voting in the 28 southern constituencies that had no candidates in the February 2 election.

Puchong Nutrawong, secretary-general of the EC, said yesterday that the decision on the letter was made at an EC meeting that resolved to recommend to the government that it issue a royal decree to establish a new polling date. 
Pheu Thai Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit said that 
proposal by the EC was just a ploy to trap the caretaker government. 
It would pave the way for the voiding of the February 2 election and for the Democrat Party to take the caretaker Cabinet to court, which would lead to the dissolution of Pheu Thai, Prompong said. 
Prompong said the Supreme Court’s Election Division has already ruled that the EC has the authority to manage and oversee the election, so the EC and not the government has the duty to conduct an election for the 28 constituencies. 
The EC should not resort to gimmicks to buy time, nor try to pass on its responsibility to the government, he said.
Democrat spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said Thai politics have reached an impasse, as Pheu Thai has rejected the EC’s proposal. 
The EC should now petition the Constitutional Court under Article 241 of the charter asking it to clarify the matter, he said. 
The government and the EC should not just simply say they do not have the power to stage a new poll, but act immediately to solve the problem, he added.

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