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Deputy PM throws doubt on election date

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Deputy PM throws doubt on election date | The Thaiger

by Chanwanpen and Somroutai Sapsomboon

The NCPO has throw a curved ball at the Election Commission, placing the onus on the Commission’s committee to decide the date of the general election whilst taking into account the preparations for the royal coronation ceremony. There’s also been suggestions of a month’s delay from the election’s tentative date of February 24.

Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam yesterday met with the commissioners to discuss how the royal coronation ceremonies, scheduled for the start of May, might affect the rollout of the election date and the milestone events that would follow.

The Coronation in May will be three days long but Wissanu stressed that other preparations could last two weeks before and after the actual coronation ceremony.

Wissanu, the government’s legal expert, however assured reporters that the election would still take place before the Coronation.

The timeline for the election date is guided by the new Constitution, which requires that the vote be held within 150 days of the organic laws coming into effect, he said.

“So, the election would have to be held no later than May 5”, he explained.

“The Constitution also requires that the election results be announced within 60 days of the vote. There might be some overlapping in the preparations for the two major events”, Wissanu said.

If the EC insisted that the election be held on February 24, the poll results should be out around April 24, Wissanu said.

That timetable would require the King to preside over the inauguration of Parliament on May 9, only three days after the May 4 to 6 coronation ceremony, when there might be some post-ceremony activities still to attend to, such as hosting international delegations, he said.

A source close to the government yesterday revealed that the government had suggested the election be put off by a month to March 24. The election results and the setting up of the new government could be determined after the royal ceremony, the source said.

After past heavy criticism that the government was trying to cling to power, Wissanu yesterday distanced the government from any possible delays, saying the matter was the EC’s responsibility.

He said the long-awaited election may or may not be postponed depending on the EC’s ability to organise and announce the poll results.

Wissanu said it might not be easy considering the agency would likely have to deal with lots of complaints, with the possibility of holding by-elections due to confusion over the new election method.

Critics and observers yesterday urged the EC to bring the election forward in order to prevent an overlapping of the two events. But Wissanu explained that February 24 is the earliest date possible for all involved parties and agencies to be ready.

The EC is yet to make any decision on the matter. A source close to the EC said the commissioners would discuss the issue today.

SOURCE: The Nation



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Election

Deputy PM promises ‘no coup’ after the election

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Deputy PM promises ‘no coup’ after the election | The Thaiger

Thailand’s Deputy PM General Prawit Wongsuwan is hosing down speculation that there could be another coup after the March 24 general election if the votes don’t support the pro-military parties.

Responding to questions about his role in maintaining peace and order around this Sunday’s election, General Prawit says there is “nothing to worry about”, including the situation in the three southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.

He says there are no special orders to officials in charge of security affairs.

He told reporters to ask the Ruang Palang Prachachart Thai party founder Suthep Thuagsuban about his reported threat to stage street protests if the pro-Thaksin Pheu Thai party wins the election (again).

General Prawit dismissed speculation that he would act as a negotiator to help form a coalition government with the pro-military Palang Pracharat party. He also said that PM Prayut Chan-o-cha had not asked him to stay on after the election.

On the eve of the election (tomorrow), most parties will hold major campaign rallies in Bangkok and in their respective political strongholds, according to Thai PBS.

It is unlikely that any single party will win a majority of the lower house seats and will need to negotiate a coalition with other parties. If no party wins a majority of lower house seats, the combined houses of parliament, which includes the military-appointed upper house, will sit to choose an ‘outsider’ prime minister which could be almost any Thai citizen.

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Chiang Rai

King awards rescuers of Mu Pa football team

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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King awards rescuers of Mu Pa football team | The Thaiger

His Majesty the King has awarded 187 people, including 115 foreigners, with The Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn for the rescue of the Mu Pa football team last July.

The announcement in the Royal Gazette reads the government recognises that those people who helped those in peril performed good deeds and deserved to be honored.

They will be granted the Most Admirable Order of Direkgunabhorn.

The Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn was established by King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) on July 22, 1991 to be bestowed upon those who have rendered devotional services to the Kingdom of Thailand.

The title Direkgunabhorn (ดิเรกคุณาภรณ์) roughly translates as “Noble order of abundance and quality.”

SOURCE: NNT | Wikipedia

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Chiang Rai

Mu Pa football team helps recover equipment from Tham Luang Caves

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Mu Pa football team helps recover equipment from Tham Luang Caves | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: The Chiang Rai PR Office

The 27 year old Coach Aek (left), and other members from the Mu Pa (Wild Boar) football squad, were on hand to help recover equipment from the Tham Luang Caves this week.

Chiang Rai’s Tham Luang caves, the scene of the international cave rescue last July, remains closed to all visitors since February 19 to allow Thai Navy SEALs to enter and recover equipment left in the five kilometre cave network after the rescue mission.

Read more about the retrieval mission HERE.

The Chiang Rai PR Department reports that navy seals and officers from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation have been recovering equipment and 40 oxygen tanks left inside the cave since the rescue of the 13 team members last year.

See The Thaiger’s short video of the rescue mission HERE.

Mu Pa football team helps recover equipment from Tham Luang Caves | News by The Thaiger Mu Pa football team helps recover equipment from Tham Luang Caves | News by The Thaiger Mu Pa football team helps recover equipment from Tham Luang Caves | News by The Thaiger Mu Pa football team helps recover equipment from Tham Luang Caves | News by The Thaiger Mu Pa football team helps recover equipment from Tham Luang Caves | News by The Thaiger Mu Pa football team helps recover equipment from Tham Luang Caves | News by The Thaiger Mu Pa football team helps recover equipment from Tham Luang Caves | News by The Thaiger

 

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