Bangkok Post

Wissanu assures EC reset won’t delay poll


Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam yesterday insisted removing the incumbent election commission­ers under the organic bill on the poll agency will not delay the timing of the next general election.

He explained a National Legislativ­e Assembly committee is vetting a proposal to “reset” the structure of the Election Commission (EC).

According to the “reset” proposal, the five election commission­ers, appointed under the 2007 constituti­on, will leave their posts when the new law on the EC, organic to the new charter, comes into effect.

However, the change provides for the current EC members to remain in their acting roles until a new batch of election commission­ers take office.

Under the new charter, the EC, which currently has five members, needs an additional two members to organise the next general election.

Asked to comment whether the current five election commission­ers should continue to be part of the new seven-member EC, Mr Wissanu said that problems may arise because the current five EC members were chosen under the old criteria which were different from the new rules under the organic bill.

Mr Wissanu added that certain members of the current EC do not meet the new stricter qualificat­ions and would be disqualifi­ed under the new rules anyway.

Mr Wissanu also denied the reset proposal will cause further delay to the timing of next year’s election, given that the current EC in its acting role does not have full power to hold elections. He insisted there would be enough time to sort out the issue which will not affect the time frame for next year’s election.

NLA president Pornpetch Wichitchol­chai said the Constituti­onal Court can be asked to rule on the panel’s proposal to reset the EC.

At least one-tenth of the NLA members can submit a petition to the NLA president to ask the court to rule on the matter, Mr Pornpetch said, adding that the NLA will meet on Friday to discuss the reset proposal.

The NLA panel scrutinisi­ng the organic bill on the EC has agreed that the structure of the poll organising body should be “reset” or re-establishe­d in accordance with the new constituti­on and the organic law giving the EC more power.

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