Election ban on relief handouts ‘will deepen economic hardship for Thais’
The Thai Sang Thai Party has warned that the ban on politicians handing out relief supplies before the upcoming election will make life much harder for many Thais.
The Election Commission (EC) said on Friday that parties caught handing out relief supplies after September 24 will be punished for buying votes under the election law.
The announcement came as Thailand began its six-month countdown to the general election, with this Parliament due to expire on March 23 next year.
Responding to the announcement on Sunday, Thai Sang Thai Party secretary-general Sita Divari said local politicians, parties and foundations do more to alleviate people’s suffering than the government.
"This shows that despite spending over 100 billion baht to lessen people’s hardship, the government cannot match the cooperative efforts of people," he said.
Although the EC announcement will help boost the election's transparency, it will also cause suffering, he added.
Meanwhile, Thai Sang Thai was willing to help alleviate people’s hardship without expecting a reward, Sita said.
The election ban on handouts comes as Thais are struggling with soaring energy and food prices.
He also laid blame on the National Council for Peace and Order junta, claiming it had established agencies and independent organisations that worked to satisfy the needs of the leader, not the people.
Turning to the general election, he said the new that party-list MP calculation method would play an important role.
"If party-list MPs are calculated using the ‘100’ division method, many political parties will merge," he said.
The “100” method, which looks set to be used for the next election, would favour larger parties
Sita said Thai Sang Thai will reveal its election candidates gradually, adding that the party would remain independent and not seek conflict with others.