Polls organiser expects House elections next April

Polls organiser expects House elections next April

Somchai Srisuthiyakorn, an election commissioner, says elections for the next House of Representatives could be held next April. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Somchai Srisuthiyakorn, an election commissioner, says elections for the next House of Representatives could be held next April. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Elections for the next House of Representatives could be held next April, if the new constitution is passed by referendum after it is approved by the National Reform Council (NRC), an election commissioner said on Thursday.

Somchai Srisuthiyakorn, commissioner in charge of election management, said after the NRC approves the new charter it would take at least three months to organise and hold a public referendum, probably in November.

If the charter were approved at the referendum, it would be fowarded to His Majesty the King for endorsement.

After the King's approval, the Election Commission would propose a bill on the elections of MPs and senators in line with the new charter. This process could take at least two months to complete, Mr Somchai said.

The election of House of Representatives MPs could then be expected in late April next year, followed by the election of senators two or three months afterwards, he said.

He said the election of senators under the new charter would be more complicated, so it could not be held at the same time as the House elections.

Mr Somchai said the EC was prepared for the three steps -- the public referendum and the elections of MPs and senators.

As for the public referendum, the EC would have to ensure that people holding different opinions could make their voices heard, and that people know about the details in the new charter before casting a vote for or against it.

The EC would also have to educate the people in the new methods of voting for MPs and senators under the new charter.

Mr Somchai said that on Friday he would hold a meeting of EC staff responsible for election management, to ensure they are fully prepared for elections under a new system.

Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd, a deputy government spokesman, said all concerned should think carefully about the proposal by a group  of politicians for the new charter to be put to a public referendum.

While the government was open to viewpoints from all sides in the interests of the country, it had to take into consideration whether a referendum could lead to another round of conflict between people of different opinions, he said.


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