The Nation



HM King endorses election on Feb 2

HM the King on Monday approved the royal decree to dissolve the House of Representatives and set February 2 as the election date.

The royal decree, published in the Royal Gazette, also tasks outgoing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra as well as chairman of the election commission to take charge of the election.

The government said Monday it has proposed new national elections be held on February 2 following the announcement in the morning by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra that she was dissolving the House dissolution under pressure from mass anti-government rallies.

Government spokesman Teerat Ratanasevi told The AP that the date was proposed during a Cabinet meeting in Bangkok.

The Election Commission must formally approve the date. Jinthong Intarasri, a spokeswoman for commission, said electoral officials will meet with the government in the next few days to discuss it.

The Election Commission (EC) on Monday said it will wait for the royal approval of the House dissolution before setting the election date, the EC's caretaker commission member Prapun Naigowit said.

The EC would be required to organise an election for some 400 constituents nationwide in 45-60 days, he explained. The previous by-election for eight constituents would also automatically cancelled due to the House dissolution.

Prapun also warned the interim government to be careful about civil servant transfers and budget spending. He also said the interim government could not sign any project - especially the Bt2 trillion loan - that related to a long-term commitment.

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