Govt 'has authority' to push for election

national May 18, 2014 00:00

By The Sunday Nation

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The caretaker government has full authority to push for an election and should do so with or without the blessing of the Election Commission, says the Assembly for the Defence of Democracy (AFDD).

The assembly, comprised of law lecturers, academics and activists, said elections were the only constitutional path out of the prolonged political conflict.
In a forum on solutions for the crisis held at Thammasat University’s Rangsit Campus yesterday, Worajet Pakeerat said Article 195 of the charter states that only a Cabinet minister has the authority to submit a request for a Royal Decree for a new poll, and not the Election Commission.
Worajet suggested that acting Prime Minister Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan continue pushing for a fresh election even if it ends up being nullified again by the Constitutional Court due to obstruction by the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).
The academic also criticised the EC’s desire that a clause be written into the Royal Decree to enable it to postpone the election, calling it an attempt to grab power and postpone polls indefinitely.
Worajet said the PDRC and its allies were like a pack of wolves surrounding the government, adding that the Kingdom had reached a dead-end because people did not want to stick to the law. He also said the selection of a new Senate speaker was illegitimate as the charter clearly states that the upper House cannot convene when there is no Parliament.

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