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July 20 set for next election

The government and the Election Commission agreed at a meeting on Thursday to set July 20 as the date for the new election

EC chairman Supachai Somcharoen said the atmosphere in the meeting was good and the caretaker government agreed with all the EC proposals.

The meeting with the caretaker premier took place in the afternoon at the Royal Thai Air Force Academy.

Before the meeting, Supachai said the EC proposed three election dates - July 20, August 17 and September 14 - to the government. It also presented the results of its earlier meetings with security agencies and political parties as well as Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva.

The EC felt July 20 was an appropriate date but if the government disagreed, then it must give its reasons, he said before the meeting. The EC would listen but remained true to its stance is that the election must not be held in an atmosphere of conflict and that there must be no violence. Meanwhile, EC member Somchai Srisutthiyakorn said the government must ensure a free and fair election, it must stay neutral as the caretaker government and must not abuse the power for its advantage and the security agencies must provide support in maintaining peace and order during the election process,.

He also said the EC might postpone the election in problematic places where balloting cannot properly take place properly. Meanwhile, the government must accept the situation, as it was possible that the election could take place but the House of Representatives could not convene within 30 days of the election date.

On Yingluck's Facebook page, she said that in the morning she had attended a meeting to follow up the work of government agencies. She hoped that the election, delayed for more than three months, would take place thus allowing the people to get the government they wanted soon.


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