EC needs ‘45 days’ to prepare election, dismisses Prayut collusion rumour


The Election Commission said on Monday it needs at least 45 days to prepare for the general election once the House term ends, in line with two new relevant organic laws.

EC secretary-general Sawaeng Boonmee was speaking to reporters after meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam for an hour at Government House.

The MPs election act and the political parties act took effect on Saturday, laying the legal foundation for the EC to hold an election. The EC has tentatively scheduled May 7 as election day provided the House of Representatives completes its four-year term on March 22.

Sawaeng said the 45-day period is required by election law, and dismissed rumours that it was designed to help Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Asked to comment on allegations that the EC was buying time to allow Prayut’s United Thai Nation (UTN) Party to prepare for the national poll, Sawaeng replied: “People can say anything they like, but the EC works for Thailand.”

He said his talk with Wissanu, the government’s legal expert, was aimed at ensuring the election went smoothly.

Sawaeng said the EC had no way of knowing whether the prime minister would dissolve the House early on March 15, as speculated, but it would still need 45 days after House dissolution to get everything prepared to hold the election.

He said the EC would try to finish drawing constituency boundaries as soon as possible and is confident that all parties will have candidates in place for the registration period.

Sawaeng said he had also met with the Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw), a Thai human rights NGO that campaigns for democracy.

Meanwhile, a full meeting of the Election Committee had been called for Monday afternoon, when it would launch final preparations for the election.