Thailand Election Commission says it could postpone elections
Thailand`s Election Commission (EC) today said it could postpone the February 2 snap elections if the political parties agree, even as the opposition Democrat Party is still undecided on whether to field candidates for the polls.
Bangkok: Thailand`s Election Commission (EC) today said it could postpone the February 2 snap elections if the political parties agree, even as the opposition Democrat Party is still undecided on whether to field candidates for the polls.
"We are willing to delay [the election] for three months, six months, one year to two years. But first things first: The political parties have to reach an agreement. The second thing is whether it [a delay] is allowed by the law. We, the EC, are the third factor," EC member Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said.
His remarks came after representatives of the People`s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), a protest group led by the opposition party, met with the EC yesterday and submitted an open letter calling for the postponement of the election.
The letter said that the protesters want political reform to be implemented before another election can be held.
In an earlier statement, protest leader Suthep Thausuban said the national reform may take a year and a half to complete.
Democrat Party, who has been leading a campaign against Prime Minister Yingluck Shibawatra`s regime, has said it will convene a meeting on Saturday to decide whether to compete in the February 2 polls or not, party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said.
He told Nation Channel TV that no matter what the decision will be, his party would be criticised. However, he said that in order to help the country move on, his party was willing to take the blame.
The Democrats must decide by December 27 if they want to register for the vote.
Meanwhile, the interim government yesterday approved a 3 billion baht budget for the election.
Chalitrat Chandrubeksa, deputy government spokesman, said that to ensure transparency, international organisations and media would be invited to observe the nationwide poll.
Democrat politicians resigned from parliament this month to join the street protests. The move prompted Yingluck to dissolve parliament and call for snap elections. But, protesters want Yingluck to resign and hand over the government to an un-elected `People`s Council`.
Yingluck yesterday reiterated that she would stay on the caretaking post until a new prime minister is elected.
"I came to power through an election two years ago. If I have to go, let me go only through an election," she said.