Election talks delayed to Thursday

Election talks delayed to Thursday

Talks on the next election between the Election Commission and the caretaker government have been delayed by a disagreement over the venue.

Delay no more than one month, says EC commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn. (Photo by Thiti Wannamontha)

The EC insisted the meeting be held at the Government Complex on Chaeng Wattana Road but the government wanted to use the Royal Thai Air Force Academy in Don Muang for security reasons.

The meeting has been rescheduled for Thursday at the Royal Thai Air Force Academy.

The EC and the government have to sort out three issues regarding the election, resulting in a delay to the issuing of a royal decree to approve the poll.

First, the EC claims it is unclear whether acting caretaker Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan has the prerogative to submit the royal decree to His Majesty the King and countersign it.

If Mr Niwatthamrong does not have such authority, the EC might have to use an acceptable legal agency to do so, EC secretary general Puchong Nutrawong said earlier.

Second, the EC wants to add Section 4 to the decree, giving the mandate to its chairman to defer the election, after discussion with the government, if it is necessary or if serious damage could result.

On this point, EC commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn explained such a delay would be for a short period to assure the EC the election budget would not be wasted.

Possible grounds for the delay might be spelled out in the decree, as well as the maximum delay period allowed for each cause. In any case, the delay should not exceed one month, Mr Somchai said.

Third, the two sides will discuss whether the polls should be further delayed to Aug 3 from July 20.

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