Pheu Thai might have misunderstood EC rules: Somchai

national February 04, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Pheu Thai Party's belief that the Election Commission (EC) will hold a new election in 67 constituencies of 18 provinces who could not vote on Sunday might be a misunderstanding, EC Commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyarkorn said yesterday.

He was referring to an electoral law that stipulates that the EC can postpone an election for seven days in a constituency that is interrupted. However, Somchai said the EC could not hold new election that quick until it can be sure that an election would resolve the ongoing political crisis. 
“It means seven days after the problem ends, not seven days after a national election. The EC will not have to reschedule a new round of voting in 67 constituencies if the political conflict seems to ease,” Somchai said.
“In case of advance voting, EC’s legal team has confirmed that the caretaker government needs a new decree to set a new date. The election cannot be declared by the EC,” he said.
Somchai’s offer to step down from his job of holding elections was turned down by other commissioners yesterday. Later, he said he would comply with EC’s decision and continue with his job. Somchai had offered to resign in a move to take responsibility for the Sunday election being disrupted. 
“I am happy that the election was peaceful, even more so as many parties had predicted that it would lead to riots. Fortunately, that did not happen,” he said.
 “However, the election cannot be considered a success and voting in more than 10,000 election units, which is more than 10 per cent, could not take place,” he pointed out.
He added that the cost of holding elections was high and that ballot cards could not be recycled. 

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