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Somchai proposes commissioners to prevent poll fraud 

Mar 23. 2017
File photo: EC commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn
File photo: EC commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn
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By The Nation

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The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday discussed with the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) the pros and cons of provincial election inspectors, proposed by the Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC), suggesting provincial commissioners were more economical.

EC president Supachai Somcharoen and commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn met with the NLA's EC law studying committee to consider the EC organic law.

After two hours of discussion, Somchai told reporters the agency admitted that the EC had often been questioned on its relationship with politicians and might not be effective in preventing poll fraud.

Consequently, there had been calls that provincial commissioners should be recruited from the ranks of civil servants to better explain EC affairs, he said.

Somchai argued that if an election takes place, the EC can already draw state resources without them not having to be appointed as provincial commissioners.

Somchai said he preferred that provincial commissioners were recruited from diverse fields and not particularly from state agencies.

Preferably, the fields should be related to politics, investigation, administration, civil society, and education, he said.

The commission should act as an administrative board that supervises the local agents, he said. Their payment should come from a meeting attendance fee rather than a monthly salary, he said. This should draw no more than Bt100 million from the budget, Somchai added.

He said that the CDC proposal could cost six times more. The inspectors, 100 at most, should only be deployed in problematic areas, Somchai suggested. This would require no more than Bt200 million each year, he said.

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