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  Home > Thailand

PM promises there will be no U-turn on poll date


 December 9th, 2017  |  11:06 AM  |   1805 views



Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has given an assurance he will not go back on his promise to hold the general election expected in November next year.


Addressing a gathering at Sirindhorn College of Public Health in Trang's Kantang district yesterday, Gen Prayut said it was important for a newly elected government to work for the public good.


Gen Prayut reaffirmed that he stepped in to solve Thailand's problems and the country has been moving towards democracy.


Sometimes, the government does not enforce the laws fully because it has to listen to the voice of the people, he said. If members of the public disagree, the government cannot go ahead, he said.


On the general election expected in November next year, Gen Prayut said the election must still be held, though it depends on circumstances and when election-related laws will be enacted.


"Don't put pressure on me. I am not going back on my word," Gen Prayut said.


Gen Prayut stressed the need for those involved in conflicts to reconcile and support efforts to return democracy to the country.


In October, Gen Prayut said he would announce the exact date of the election in June next year with the target being November 2018 -- the most precise schedule he has given yet for the vote since seizing power in the 2014 military coup d'etat.


Gen Prayut has announced election dates at least three times in the past, only to push them back later, citing concerns such as changes to the constitution and security issues.


Meanwhile, National Legislative Assembly chairman Pornpetch Wichitcholchai yesterday said he will look into claims that the Supreme Court's selection of two election commissioners was not an open process.


Mr Pornpetch said the organic bill on the Election Commission (EC) calls for the selection of commissioners to be held in an open manner.


He was referring to EC member Somchai Srisutthiyakorn's remarks that the Supreme Court's selection of two commissioners might be against the law as the process was not open.


Mr Somchai referred to the court's selection of Chatchai Janpraisri, chief justice of the Supreme Court, and Pakorn Mahannop, a judge in the Supreme Court, as election commissioners under the Supreme Court's quota. They were chosen in separate meetings.


The Supreme Court picks two of the seven members of the EC under the new constitution. The judges will join five other commissioners in replacing the current group of poll commissioners.


Five other commissioners have been chosen by a selection panel.


The process of choosing the five commissioners has reached the National Legislative Assembly. The names will be presented by next Tuesday to the assembly, which has 45 days to examine the candidates' experience and background before making a decision.


On Thursday, Mr Somchai said the Supreme Court's pick of Mr Chatchai and Mr Pakorn may have violated Section 12 of the organic bill on the EC which requires the court to pick them in an open manner.



courtesy of BANGKOK POST

by Bangkok Post


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