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Delay February 2 election or risk violence: EC


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#1 webfact

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Posted 2014-01-17 06:08:31

FEBRUARY 2 ELECTION
Delay poll or risk violence: EC

The Nation

Agency seeks one-on-one meet between PM, EC chief; govt stands firm on Feb 2

BANGKOK: -- In its strongest warning yet to the caretaker government, the Election Commission yesterday said pushing ahead with the February 2 election could spark a severe conflict, possibly leading to violent civil unrest.


Somchai Srisuthiyakorn, who is one of the five election commissioners, said postponement of the election until May could help ease the ill will between proponents and opponents of the February 2 polls. He said the extended period could be spent implementing reforms or changing laws, as demanded by the protesters, who have rallied for more than 70 days.

"The government seems to opt for a war by pushing ahead with the February 2 election," Somchai said. "If we remain stubborn, we will see hell before us."

He warned of possible riots by people who disagree with an early election. There could also be widespread outrage if police take action against voters who break the law, such as by tearing up ballot papers.

"The EC doesn't want to see more firewood thrown on the fire. Whatever we can do to put out the fire, we are ready to do it," Somchai said, adding that in a tense situation like this, even a small dispute could lead to a riot or more severe forms of conflict.

The caretaker government yesterday stood firm against postponing the election. The caretaker PM and other Cabinet members also ruled out stepping down, as had been demanded by the protesters, according to a source in the ruling Pheu Thai Party.

Somchai said yesterday that the EC had been unable to reach caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, but will continue its attempts until EC chairman Supachai Somcharoen can meet with her. He had tried unsuccessfully to reach Yingluck by phone. "The call was not answered and I didn't get any call back," Somchai said.

He said the EC was seeking a meeting with Yingluck today at the Navy Convention Hall to discuss the election agency's postponement proposal. He pointed to concern over possible violence in the run-up to the election. If the PM is busy today, the EC would continue sending her an invitation every day until she responds, he said.

"One side has said there are many problems [with holding a February 2 election]. The other side cannot simply go shopping. There must be a discussion. We should avoid pouting, like they do in TV dramas," he said.

Meanwhile, the caretaker PM’s secretary-general, Suranand Vejjajiva, said the PM had not received any official invitation for a meeting from the Election Commission. Therefore, there will be no meeting with the EC today as stated by the EC to media.

Somchai said the EC wanted to meet the PM in person - and not her representative - to discuss important legal issues involving the election. He would disclose those issues during a meeting with the PM. Somchai said caretaker Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan should also attend the meeting with the EC.

He said the idea of discussing the matter with the PM was agreed by all five election commissioners.

"It's no use the prime minister trying to avoid us. We have to help ensure peace in our country. The government should have respect for the EC chairman and they should talk with us," Somchai said.

On Wednesday, Yingluck, after meeting representatives from 37 parties, said the majority of the participants insisted that the election go ahead as scheduled.

Meanwhile, chief coalition whip Aumnuay Khlangpha yesterday said he would sue the election commissioners if the February 2 election does not take place. Pheu Thai Party members in the South who could not register as election candidates have already filed police complaints.

 


-- The Nation 2014-01-17



#2 Nowhereman60

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Posted 2014-01-17 06:12:53

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Fire the bunch of them.   Seems like the just don't want to do their job and trying to find a way out of it.   If you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen.   



#3 MaxLee

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Posted 2014-01-17 06:15:00

Delay poll or risk violence: EC

 

 

Pheu Thai would say: "Risk violence and save face" clap2.gif clap2.gif clap2.gif 



#4 chooka

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Posted 2014-01-17 06:17:22

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The only ones who will resort to violence if people exercise their right to vote will be Suthep and his loonies who want to take that right away.



#5 LuckyLew

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Posted 2014-01-17 06:33:47

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OK so it may be illegal to stop the election on Feb. 2nd, but from the headlines the last week o so it appears the PTP have done nothing legal since they have been in power ... so why stat now?

Call of the election or the streets of Thailand will be covered in Thai blood



#6 Prbkk

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Posted 2014-01-17 06:37:25

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I don't understand why the EC seems to be running its own campaign through the media. Hard not to see the EC as a politicised body. I thought firemen are meant to put out fires



#7 h90

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Posted 2014-01-17 06:45:42

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Fire the bunch of them.   Seems like the just don't want to do their job and trying to find a way out of it.   If you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen.   

 

For very good reason the government can't fire the EC.



#8 h90

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Posted 2014-01-17 06:50:24

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I don't understand why the EC seems to be running its own campaign through the media. Hard not to see the EC as a politicised body. I thought firemen are meant to put out fires

 

Because they know the 2nd Feb Elections won't bring legal results. (areas that couldn't register candidates).

They are officially informed that it will be a waste of tax payer money. They must act on that information else it might be neglect of duty.

There are several issues that may make the election complete illegal (change of registration place and fly in the candidates of the major parties with helicopter but not the candidates of small parties).

 

So they actually MUST point out that it is better to change the date. If they don't do they themself may end in jail.



#9 EricBerg

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Posted 2014-01-17 06:52:50

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"One side has said there are many problems [with holding a February 2 election]. The other side cannot simply go shopping. There must be a discussion. We should avoid pouting, like they do in TV dramas," he said.

 

Gotta love the darling of Isan.



#10 poisonus

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Posted 2014-01-17 06:55:45

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pushing ahead with the February 2 election could spark a severe conflict, possibly leading to violent civil unrest.

 

Many people have probably told her this, yet it just slides off her. Maybe the EC ought to try setting up a meeting in Dubai with the real PM of Thailand.



#11 uty6543

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Posted 2014-01-17 06:57:07

Maybe the law requires the election to be held Feb 2nd but if all the relevant authorities agree it would be in the countries best interest to postpone it and not to charge the PM. Problem solved?

#12 Prbkk

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Posted 2014-01-17 07:02:01

Maybe the law requires the election to be held Feb 2nd but if all the relevant authorities agree it would be in the countries best interest to postpone it and not to charge the PM. Problem solved?

Indeed. She made that offer and it was rejected out of hand by me Suteph. If he thinks a coup is the best solution, he might need to consider how the international community would react this time. A look at the Washington Post article might give him a hint 



#13 MaxLee

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Posted 2014-01-17 07:04:59

pushing ahead with the February 2 election could spark a severe conflict, possibly leading to violent civil unrest.
 
Many people have probably told her this, yet it just slides off her. Maybe the EC ought to try setting up a meeting in Dubai with the real PM of Thailand.


It's not her decision anyway, are you kidding yourself?

#14 focus27

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Posted 2014-01-17 07:11:50

So the EC is happy for the caretaker government to do work it likes, such as changing laws, but not work it doesn't like, such as financing the rice scheme.

 

Look up how the men on the EC are selected. coffee1.gif



#15 gabruce

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Posted 2014-01-17 09:41:17

I don't understand why the EC seems to be running its own campaign through the media. Hard not to see the EC as a politicised body. I thought firemen are meant to put out fires

 

Maybe they are frustrated because the PM (Yingluck) is avoiding meeting with them. Why is she avoiding speaking with the EC directly?



#16 GeorgeO

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Posted 2014-01-17 09:46:04

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Those of you who suggest that the EC is in dereliction of its duty to the country fail to see that they are actually carrying out their duty by recognising that to hold the election on 2nd February is likely to lead to serious violence.

 

YL is caretaker prime minister, that's all, and she does not have the right to oppose the EC (or to sack them as some nonsense posters have suggested). Her spokesperson has stated that she hasn't received any invitation to a meeting, so I guess communication is pretty bad where she is (highly built up areas, such as shopping malls) as there are thousands of us who are aware of the invitation.

 

Ignoring the problem will not make it go away YL...!! You must respond to the EC or they will simply take the decision themselves to declare the election date infeasible, and postpone it until at least May. We are all well aware that this would be no good to you (and TS) because you will already be out of the country by then, probably with him.

 

Let's just wait until your new opponents (old supporters) arrive in the capital next week for a new twist to the story, shall we....!



#17 tezzainoz

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Posted 2014-01-17 12:14:32

 

The only ones who will resort to violence if people exercise their right to vote will be Suthep and his loonies who want to take that right away.

 

 

 

 

Please state you logic to hold an election and waste millions of baht on an election that can not suceed as even they win their ill not be enough MP's so make a government

 

Oh I see. You not care as its not your money

Its the Thai people's money

 

Now you offend me as you want to waste my wifes moeny as we have to pay taxes her in Thailand



#18 Crushdepth

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Posted 2014-01-17 12:20:44

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"One side has said there are many problems [with holding a February 2 election]. The other side cannot simply go shopping. There must be a discussion. We should avoid pouting, like they do in TV dramas," he said.
 
Gotta love the darling of Isan.

Sounds like the EC is fed up with the government passing the buck.

It's the government's responsibility to ensure there is an environment conducive to successfully holding an election. If the EC believes that violence and a disrupted poll are the likely outcomes they have a duty to advise the government that it's not going to work and the *government* has to find a way to fix it.

Yingluck's refusal to meet the EC to discuss their obviously legitimate concerns and failure to acknowledge their request is as unprofesional as it gets.

Edited by Crushdepth, 2014-01-17 12:24:10.


#19 tominbkk

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Posted 2014-01-17 12:20:47

Fire the bunch of them.   Seems like the just don't want to do their job and trying to find a way out of it.   If you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen.   

Don't be ridiculous.  An election on the 2nd will only make things worse.  Thaksin and his sister need to step down, reform needs to be made, and then there can be elections.



#20 badgerbailey

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Posted 2014-01-17 12:26:45

 

I don't understand why the EC seems to be running its own campaign through the media. Hard not to see the EC as a politicised body. I thought firemen are meant to put out fires

 

Maybe they are frustrated because the PM (Yingluck) is avoiding meeting with them. Why is she avoiding speaking with the EC directly?

 

 

Honestly these EC commisioners are looking more and more foolish by the day, they had a chance to voice there disapproval at the feb 2nd elections a few days ago when there was a forum which they were invited to, what happened? they didn't turn up and sent a representative who said nothing! you had your chance, you blew it now <deleted>!



#21 chooka

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Posted 2014-01-17 12:29:03

 

 

The only ones who will resort to violence if people exercise their right to vote will be Suthep and his loonies who want to take that right away.

 

 

 

 

Please state you logic to hold an election and waste millions of baht on an election that can not suceed as even they win their ill not be enough MP's so make a government

 

Oh I see. You not care as its not your money

Its the Thai people's money

 

Now you offend me as you want to waste my wifes moeny as we have to pay taxes her in Thailand

 

I am sorry you found my post offensive and it wasn't meant to offend anyone nor was it directed at you.  Again my deepest and most sincere apology for the offence it has caused to you.



#22 umbanda

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Posted 2014-01-17 12:53:09

Still talking about elections in Feb 2?   Just 20 days away?....Already is off.....



#23 catmac

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Posted 2014-01-17 13:18:39

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"One side has said there are many problems [with holding a February 2 election]. The other side cannot simply go shopping. There must be a discussion. We should avoid pouting, like they do in TV dramas," he said.

 

Gotta love the darling of Isan.

 

Though I doubt that you meant to, you have shown up the EC for what they are. Utterly useless at their job, and totally biased against PTP. For the chairman of the official body charged with carrying out the election to make such a snide comment about the caretaker PM speaks volumes as to why they are unfit to do their job. They are not posting on TV, where we expect such drivel to be spouted by the usual suspects, they are suposed to be politically neutral.



#24 Spalpeen

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Posted 2014-01-17 13:26:10

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A veritable feast of BS if ever there was one.
.
"Somchai said....postponement of the election until May could help ease the ill will....". How would two more months of a caretaker government and Suthep and his shrinking band of loons parading around possibly help?
.
"The government seems to opt for war by pushing ahead......". Lets not forget this guy is an election commissioner, but he seems to think that holding an election is 'opting for war'. Are you in the right job, Somchai?
.
"He warned of possible riots by people who disagree with an election". Yeah, so? That's what the police is for.
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"There could be widespread outrage if police take action against voters who tear up ballot papars". Well, they've allowed protesters to block the major roads in Bangkok, so they're hardly likely to shoot someone who tears up a ballot paper.
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"The other side cannot simply go shopping......We should avoid pouting....". Naked sexism. Doesn't think that women should be in politics.
.
And in among all this deluded drivel, not one single word of criticism for his Democrat friends who have turned their backs on democracy. Not one single word of criticism for those who would instigate violence. Just an endless whine that the government should cave in to the threat of violence. No awareness at all from Election Commissioner Somchai that the election is mandated by the constitution and Royal Decree, and as such cannot be changed.
A rich vein of BS indeed.

#25 Time Traveller

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Posted 2014-01-17 13:32:59

Why would Suthep's peaceful protestors create violence? Since they no longer recognize elections as legitimate why would they care when the election is held? This commissioner sounds like he is hoping for trouble 







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