The Election Commission is fully prepared to hold a general election once the prime minister dissolves the House of Representatives, commissioner Sodsri Sattayatham said on Thursday.
Mrs Sodsri said the EC had prepared both a draft organic law on elections of MPs, in line with the charter amendment on the number of MPs and constituencies, and a draft announcment outlining regulations and criteria to accommodate the general election.
The EC is empowered to issue the announcement calling an election in the event parliament cannot pass the organic law in time.
Mrs Sodsri said she preferred the organic law since many MPs and core members of political parties had said a matter of this importance should go through parliament first, not only through the five members of the EC.
However, a certain time was still needed for the EC to redraw boundaries of constituencies, which will each have only one elected MP.
There are no problems with 53 provinces where single-MP constituencies for the 2005 election can be reintroduced right away, but changes are required to electoral boundaries in 23 other provinces, including Bangkok, where the population has either dropped or increased, she said.
No matter what, the EC would be ready for the general election whenever the prime minister dissolves the House, she said.
Unbelievable. They’re just going to fix the election… if the Democrats are ‘elected’ there will be no change from the present circumstance… and unelected government. And the red shirt ‘leadership’ has already rolled over for it… accepting the outcome of the election no matter what.
The leader of the anti-government “red shirts,” whose protests helped send the economy into a mild recession in the middle of last year, signaled a softer stance, saying they would respect the result of the election, providing it was fair.
Thida Tojirakarn, acting chairwoman of the group, told Reuters she saw no need for prolonged protests such as the 10-week occupation of parts of Bangkok last year, following the release on bail of red shirt leaders held on terrorism charges.
“This is not the time for a protracted protest … The reasons for a long protest are fewer. If the leaders hadn’t been released, the atmosphere would be very different,” she said.
We’re waiting for red shirt ‘leadership’ comment on this latest development… the putative election is about to be tossed squarely into ‘unfair’ territory!
13 March 2011
The dark night of Thai democracy
“All the talk about pathiwat [coup d'etat
or revolution]; if you want to do it, please do. I don’t want another election. The past four years have been exhausting. I sympathise with all the officials of the EC [Election Commission]. Everyone has worked so hard.”
Those were the words of commissioner Sodsri Satayathum, speaking at a seminar to Election Commission officials. Given that there’s no distinction in the Thai language between ”coup d’etat” and ”revolution”, many thought she was inviting the former.
How could the election commissioner say such a thing?
Last Wednesday, I had a sit-down with Mrs Sodsri and asked her to clarify. She stood by her words. She said she doesn’t want an election; the country isn’t ready for an election and an election is not the solution.