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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs   18 December 2013  

Bt4 billion allocated for snap election

Thailand's caretaker government today approved a budget of nearly Bt4 billion for the Feb 2 general election.

Chalitrat Chandrubeksa, deputy spokesman of the Prime Minister’s Office, said international organisations and media will be invited to observe the nationwide poll which will cost Thailand Bt3.885 billion.

He said the foreign and interior ministries were assigned to coordinate with the Election Commission (EC) to allow international agencies in order to have their first-hand accounts on the election.

Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra stood firm that she was obliged by the Constitution to continue with her administrative responsibility until a new government takes office.

“The Constitution doesn’t allow a caretaker government to resign. That’s why I can’t follow the protesters’ demand,” she said.

Anti-government protesters have repeatedly called on Ms Yingluck and her caretaker cabinet to resign to pave the way for a national reform before an election is held.

The caretaker premier added, “Now that the royal decree has set February 2 for the election, I’d like to urge all parties to follow it and move on with the election process. Let the people elect their leaders to run the country. The government is willing to help the Election Commission to ensure a fair election by inviting all quarters
to witness it.”

She said she has until next Monday to decide if she would run in the snap poll as the first candidate on the Pheu Thai’s party list.

The EC set December 23-27 for candidates to submit their applications to run in the election.

Ms Yingluck welcomed proposals and opinions from various political forums on Thailand’s reform but insisted that the timing for a national reform must be in accord with the Constitution.

She said she personally advocated a national reform after the election. (MCOT online news)

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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