ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Caretaker PM Yingluck stands firm on Feb 2 poll
BANGKOK, Jan 15 – Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra reaffirmed today that the Feb 2 general election will be held as originally scheduled.
She said the military and police have promised to fully support the Election Commission (EC) in carrying out the countrywide polls.
Ms Yingluck said after a forum attended by representatives from political parties, state and independent agencies that the majority of participants agreed to follow the original election schedule.
“The government and the EC are not authorised by the law to delay the election. The government has to follow the Constitution. I believe the EC acknowledges the problems and tries its best to complete the election registration,” she said.
Election registrations failed in 24 constituencies in 15 southern provinces.
Ms Yingluck told the EC to submit a written document on details of assistance it wants from the authorities to avoid confusions, adding that government agencies including the military are willing to cooperate and follow the EC’s instruction.
She said the government does not object to national reform but its initiative has been rejected.
“May I invite various groups, including the government’s proponents and opponents, to a dialogue. Let us start Thailand’s reform from tomorrow,” she said.
Three senior officials – Permanent Secretary for Defence Nipat Thonglek, National Police chief Adul Saengsingkaew and Permanent Secretary for Interior Viboon Sa-nguanpong – told the meeting that they would fully cooperate by assigning personnel to election booths and provide security during the election.
Puchong Nutrawong, EC secretary general, said he would report the conclusion in today’s meeting to the five-member EC in order to move on with arranging the February 2 election especially in 15 southern provinces which have countered personnel shortage.
Provincial election officials in some southern provinces refused to cooperate in organising or facilitating the elections while some officials and their families were intimidated, he said.
Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul urged the EC to lodge complaints with police to arrest those who disrupted the election.
Chukiat Rattanachaichan, secretary general of the Council of State, said the election process must continue after an announcement of the royal decree on election and it was the EC’s duty to arrange it. (MCOT online news)
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