The Election Commission on Thursday warned that proceeding with the upcoming general election may fuel further unrest, and urged the government and protesters to reach a compromise. The five election commissioners also warned that holding an election during this time of intense political strife could lead to many people rejecting the poll result. The EC made the statement as anti-government protesters, led by former Democrat Party MP Suthep Thaugsuban, marched in Bangkok to campaign for a boycott of the Feb 2 election. Mr Suthep has also called for a mass gathering on Sunday, one day before the EC opens the registration for party list candidates. The protest leader has vowed to ensure the polls do not take place.
Election commissioner Thirawat Thirarojwit said the polls have become another source of conflict in society. One side believes that maintaining the caretaker government and proceeding with the election is the solution, while the other demands that a new, neutral cabinet be installed until a “people’s council” is formed to reform the country, he said.
“If the conflict continues, the Feb 2 election may not proceed peacefully. It is also possible that the result of an election under the circumstances won’t be widely accepted,” Mr Thirawat said.
He called on the government and the protest group, which calls itself the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), to lower their demands and try to find common ground.
Mr Thirawat insisted the EC is capable of holding the election despite the warnings. Still, he said the date can be changed if necessary and the poll should not be held as an obstacle to resolving the political standoff.
Full Article: EC pushes poll delay to avoid unrest | Bangkok Post: news.