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EC sets August 19 next year as tentative date for election

The Election Commission (EC) has set August 19, 2018 as a tentative date for general election.

The date was fixed after the EC's board held a meeting on July 17 to lay down a timeframe for the next general election in 2018.

EC chairman Supachai Somcharoen said the tentative date for general election was set in line with the working timetable of election officials. The tentative date was just a preparatory date.

The exact date, however, was not officially fixed yet, he said.

Under the working timetable, election procedure will be first published in the Royal Gazette by March 31, 2018, and election regulations concerning constituency-based election will be announced in early April 2018.

He said it was expected that around June 9, 2018 the EC could announce exact dates for election, for candidacy registration, venues for drawing party numbers, submission of prime minister's names.

Constituency and party-list candidates registration is tentatively set on July 2-6.

Under this timetable, tentative date for election would be on August 19 next year, he said.

He added that the EC board would meet today (July 18) to conclude whether it would petition the Constitutional Court on an draft organic law that details the termination of offices of all the EC board.

He said if the board decided not to petition, a board director Somchai Srisuttiyakorn would consider lodging the petition by himself.

Besides, the EC chairman said the board would also decide whether to petition the court on whether the appointment of election inspector is illigitimate or not as the process of appointment might violate the constitution because people's participation is not permitted, thus obstructing clean and transparent election.

Mr Supachai said he, personally, had no objection against the Election Commission organic law which was overwhelmingly endorsed by the National Legislative Assembly.

He said that he had made his arguments toward the EC organic law at the tri-partite scrutiny panel and, therefore, fulfilled his responsibility regarding the law.

As far as he is concerned, he maintained that he had already fulfilled his job regarding the organic law.

But he said he would not resign unless he was not wanted.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)