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New election expected by July in Thailand: election commissioner

English.news.cn   2014-04-16 23:24:19

BANGKOK, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Thailand is likely to have a new election in July, said Election Commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn on Wednesday.

The Election Commission will hold talks with the caretaker government about the new election by the end of this month so that it will be held in the next 90 days or by middle or late July, Somchai said.

The caretaker government under acting premier Yingluck Shinawatra will be legally obliged to issue a new royal decree for the new election, according to the commissioner.

"The new election might take place either on July 20 or July 27 and it should not be ruled (by court) as null and void anymore," he said.

In the meantime, the polling agency will discuss the issue next Tuesday with some 70 political parties which might contest the nationwide polls, he said.

The Constitutional Court ruled last month that the February 2 election was null and void, prompting the polling agency to organize a new one.

Somchai commented that there should no longer be any problem which might otherwise disrupt the new election as in the previous one. He did not elaborate, however.

In the February 2 election, 28 of all the 375 constituencies nationwide saw no contests where electoral candidates had been forcibly barred by anti-government protesters from applying.

Under the electoral system , 375 of all the 500 lawmakers in the House of Representatives will be picked from among candidates running in those constituencies while the other 125 will be picked from individuals contesting the race to parliament on lists of different parties.

Somchai said that there should no longer be a problem about electoral candidates applying at any given constituency because they will be legally allowed to apply on the Internet or by any method other than in person so that they could avoid being forcibly thwarted by anyone as had been the case of the previous election.

"The new election should not be ruled null and void if all the election is held in a peaceful, orderly fashion. And all constituencies will see electoral candidates applying," said the commissioner.

He said he believed the parliament might open with a minimum of 95 percent of all lawmakers by September and a post-election government might be set up by October.

Nevertheless, there might be less than 95 percent of winning candidates being officially certified by the polling agency in a one-month time following the date on which the election is held, he added.

Yingluck and the rank and file of the Pheu Thai (for Thais) Party who contested the previous election and won most lawmaker seats in the lower house will likely contest again regardless of whether or not the opposition Democrat Party might also run or boycott the new election again since they already did in the previous race.

The Democrats, headed by former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva, are known to be considerably influential to the southern constituencies, especially those where no candidates could have applied in the previous election.

The Democrats, who have obviously been supportive of the prolonged anti-government protests orchestrated by former deputy premier Suthep Thaugsuban, earlier insisted that "political reforms" be done ahead of any election. Suthep was a former secretary general of the party.

Editor: yan
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