The Election Commission will invite legal experts and key representatives of the government to discuss how to improve the turnout for the rescheduled polls, EC member Somchai Srisuthiyakorn says. He was responding to caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Phongthep Thepkanchana’s comment that the EC should put more effort into managing the new round of elections. Ninety-five percent of the total 500 MP seats must be filled so the House of Representatives can be convened and a new prime minister selected, as required by the constitution. “I will invite Mr Pongthep and legal experts, and ask for their advice on how to set up the next round of elections. I can say that we might not have the full number of representatives in the next two months or even 180 days [as stipulated by the charter],” he said. Mr Somchai said the EC will today decide whether the new round of polls could be held on Feb 23 as planned.
Meanwhile, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee believes the low turnout and low number of valid ballots at Sunday’s election shows that most people agree with the PDRC’s stance.
Only 14.3 million ballots are valid _ about 33% of the 43 million eligible voters nationwide. This means most people, or two-thirds of eligible voters, did not want to vote, it claimed. They probably do not want corrupt politicians to return to politics, PDRC spokesman Akanat Promphan said.
On Sunday, about 20 million people or 46.7% came to voting booths, much lower than the 35 million people, or 75%, who voted in the 2011 election.
In Bangkok, one of the provinces with the lowest turnouts, only 1.1 million (about 26%) of 4.3 million eligible voters cast ballots, according to City Hall’s election centre. The number of invalid ballots is about 2.4 million, 700,000 higher than the number in the 2011 election.
Full Article: EC consults experts over second poll | Bangkok Post: news.