BANGKOK, April 30 (Xinhua) -- The Thai caretaker government on Wednesday agreed with the Election Commission (EC) to hold a new general election on July 20.
The agreement was reached during talks between the government and EC at the Royal Thai Air Force Academy.
The government has agreed with all EC proposals such as enhancing the candidate registration mechanism and deploying security forces to help maintain order during the election, EC Secretary General Puchong Nutrawong said at a press conference following the meeting.
The EC will meet next Tuesday to draft a royal decree on the new election date, which will then be issued by the government.
The EC has consulted with various parties concerned with regard to the election date ever since the Constitutional Court nullified in March the Feb. 2 general election on grounds that it failed to be held on a single day as the constitution stipulated.
The Democrat Party, which boycotted the Feb. 2 election, has yet to decide whether to contest the new poll, but its leader Abhisit Vejjajiva did not rule out such a possibility during his meeting with the EC on Tuesday.
Abhisit put forward a number of proposals during the meeting, including measures to reform the EC's mechanisms and management in holding elections.
The ultimate goal of his proposals is to carry out reform in line with the constitution, Abhisit said, adding if all sides accept his proposals, the Democrats will agree to run in a new election.
Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has so far remained non-committal to questions as to whether she will contest the new election and only remarked without elaborating that she would rather leave it to the people to decide.
Yingluck is now entangled in legal cases that could decide the fate of her and her cabinet, and thus possibly further complicate the current political situation.
The Constitutional Court is expected to deliver a verdict on whether Yingluck has violated the constitution by making a personnel transfer order years ago, which the Supreme Administrative Court has ruled "unlawful."
Yingluck on Tuesday submitted to the court her defense statement for the case. Should the court rule against her, she and her cabinet could face removal from office.
Meanwhile, the National Anti-Corruption Commission said earlier that it would announce its decision on May 8 or May 15 regarding Yingluck's alleged negligence of duty in the controversial rice- pledging scheme.
If found guilty, Yingluck could face removal from office and a five-year ban from politics.
Both the pro-government red shirts and anti-government protesters who have staged months of street rallies in the capital are now awaiting the rulings of these independent agencies, on which their next moves will depend.