Interim cabinet not allowed to use state budget, resources before election
The Election Commission (EC) has barred an interim cabinet from using the state budget or resources in any manner that could influence or tip the scales of the election.
The Royal Gazette website on Tuesday published an EC regulation stating that the interim cabinet, which is in charge after the government term expires or after parliament dissolution, is prohibited from undertaking the following action:
- Organising a cabinet meeting outside Government House.
- Organising training courses for personnel of public or private agencies using the state budget.
- Approving the disbursement of state budget.
- Approving the distribution of state resources without proper cause.
- Disbursing travel and public relations expenses from state agencies.
- Using state resources such as frequencies, radio and television broadcasting or telecommunication equipment for public relations.
The EC stated that the regulation, which is effective immediately, aims to limit the conditions and actions of the interim cabinet to ensure equal opportunities in the upcoming election.
The commission could, however, exempt or relax any of the prohibitions if necessary.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will tentatively complete eight years in office this month after taking the reins as PM on August 24, 2014, following a military coup staged by him that led to the installation of a National Council for Peace and Order-backed government.
The latest Constitution, which came into force in April 2017, prohibits anyone from serving as prime minister for longer than eight years. However, it remains unclear when exactly Prayut’s eight-year term ends as he took office before the current Constitution came into effect.