Paiboon proposes election guidelines for EC

Paiboon proposes election guidelines for EC

Paiboon Nititawan, a former member of the now-defunct National Reform Council, has proposed guidelines for the Election Commission (EC) to follow when it arranges the election expected to be held in late 2017.

He said his proposal was based on lessons learnt from the Aug 7 charter referendum.

According to Mr Paiboon, the people who turned out to vote in the Aug 7 referendum did not do it for money, but from their own judgement as ordinary citizens.

There were no campaigns to distort the contents of the draft charter, except expressions of opinions via social networks. Before the referendum, the EC sent documents to explain the gist of the draft charter to all households with eligible voters.

The referendum result was accepted by society at an international level.

Of some 50 million eligible voters, 29.74 million or about 60% turned out to vote.

The lessons from the Aug 7 referendum should be used for the handling of the general election expected to be held next year, he said.

That was to say, the election should be graft-free. There should be no heavy campaigns for votes or huge spending by candidates.

The EC should send pictures with bio-data and qualifications of candidates to eligible voters. The candidates should not be required to spend a lot of money to register their candidacy. There should be no parades or campaign rallies. Canvassers should not be allowed to conduct door-knocking campaigns which can be a way of buying votes.

Mr Paiboon, who is also a former Constitution Drafting Committee member, said it was not necessary for the EC to set a high turnout target, such as 80%, because doing so could induce bribery or vote-buying. Emphasis should be placed on quality voting and raising the people's awareness, he added.

Mr Paiboon said his proposal would not benefit small or big parties, but help parties with small funding or no financial backing that want to work for the country and the people.

By following Japan's model, the EC should fix certain venues for putting up pictures, bio-data and qualifications of all candidates.

Each candidate should be allowed to use only one campaign vehicle, five assistants and a set of sound equipment. Other people should be prohibited from campaigning on behalf of the candidates.

Mr Paiboon, who has declared his intention to set up a poltical party, said his aim in making this proposal was for good people to enter politics and for the EC and other people concerned to use it in the writing of a new election law.

On the progress of his planned People's Reform Party, Mr Paiboon said those interested in joining it can apply by sending their applications to the following address: The office of the People's Reform Network, 27/354 Sanphawut Road, Bang Na, Bangkok 10260. 

The applications can also be filed via e-mail: peoplereform59@gmail.com.

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