Local elections cannot be rushed, says Anupong
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Local elections cannot be rushed, says Anupong

There are several reasons why local government elections cannot be held before the end of the financial year in September, Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda said on Monday.

Gen Anupong was replying to questions about local elections, which have been suspended since the May 22, 2014 coup.

He said there were still many issues to be cleared up first.

For one, the EC must finish drawing up constituencies for the elections of leaders and members of various types of local administrations  - such as the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, municipalities, provincial administrative organisations and tambon administrative organisations - and publish them in the Royal Gazette.

After that the EC would have to consult with the government to fix the election dates. Overall readiness must be taken into consideration, the interior minister said.

Another issue was budgets. Before the end of fiscal 2020, on Sept 30, local administrations of all forms were required to submit their budget proposals to the government, he said.

The preparation of budget proposals usually began in August and should be completed before the end of September.

If local elections were held during this period, August-September, the existing local administrations would be dissolved pending the polls and they would not be able to perform their duties, including the preparation of budget proposals.

This must also be taken into consideration, Gen Anupong said.

Asked whether there were problems with budget funding for local elections, Gen Anupong did not reply. 

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Sunday that local elections might be delayed because the budget earmarked to finance them had been diverted to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

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