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Politicians raise doubt over February 24 election date

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Politicians raise doubt over February 24 election date | The Thaiger

The Election Commission secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma is refusing to confirm that the next election will be held on February 24, fuelling speculation of a possible delay.

He said February 24 was the earliest date the agency would be ready to hold the general election, citing a conclusion of an Commission meeting held many months ago in Pattaya.

“The election commissioners, however, have not scheduled February 24 as the election date,” he said.

Jarungvith added that according to its order, the ruling NCPO is also empowered to “work with” the EC in scheduling the election date.

The official noted that after the law on the election of members of Parliament takes effect on December 11, the national vote will be held within the next 150 days but not later than May 9 in accordance with the legislation.

Jarungvith’s remark caused politicians to conclude yesterday that the election will not be held on February 24.

Paiboon Nititawan, leader of the pro-junta People Reform Party, said he was convinced the next election would not be held on February 24, as many political parties would not be ready by then. He added, however, that he saw no problem with that.

He noted that the law requires election candidates to be members of a party for at least 90 days to be eligible to run under its banner.

Varawut Silapa-archa, who heads the Chartthaipattana Party’s policy and strategy committee, said he was not surprised by Jarungvith’s remark.

“Many people in the political circles who I talked to agreed that there would be no election on February 24. There are many factors that would cause the postponement,” Varawut said. However, he added that he believed the next election would be held within the legal limit of 150 days after the new law on MP elections takes effect.

“I can wait if the election will be postponed for a month or two. But it must be not later than 150 days. We have been waiting for four years already,” he said.

The young politician blamed the EC’s failure to designate constituencies early for the lack of preparedness of political parties. He said parties need to know which districts and areas are in which constituency so that they can field suitable candidates. Also, parties are required by law to select their candidates based on the results of primary voting among party members, he added.

Meanwhile, provincial officials of the EC have become worried that a delay in designating constituencies might cause the election to be postponed beyond February 24, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Pheu Thai politicians yesterday also called on the EC to complete the designation as soon as possible in order to prevent further delays in the election timing.

Meanwhile, Suthin Klangpha, a politician from the anti-junta Pheu Thai Party, said yesterday that he suspected the junta government was plotting to further delay the next election. He claimed that pro-junta political parties would seek postponement by arguing that they were not prepared for the election on February 24.

Politicians raise doubt over February 24 election date | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Election Commission secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma – The Nation

SOURCE: The Nation

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Thailand

Thais commemorate the passing of beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Greeley Pulitzer

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Thais commemorate the passing of beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej | The Thaiger

Thousands across the Kingdom, many wearing yellow, attended religious ceremonies and activities yesterday to commemorate the passing of the beloved late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. His Majesty died on October 13, 2016

In Bangkok, a large crowd offered alms to hundreds of monks and novices as PM Prayut Chan-o-cha led ministers, military leaders and officials in paying homage to the late King and placing wreaths in front of a huge portrait of the late monarch.

Similar activities were held at provincial halls throughout the country, and a candlelit ceremony, led by the Prime Minister, was held at Sanam Luang in Bangkok.

In Hua Hin, some 500 people, mostly dressed in yellow, the colour of the late King, joined a charity walk and run on the Phetkasem highway in the morning. In the north-east province of Yasothon, Thanisorn Chittama placed rice crops in his 1 hectare rice field to form an image of the late King, with wording related to the King’s philosophy of sustainable economy.

SOURCE: thaipbsworld.com

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Economy

“Eat, Shop, Spend” drive reaches registration target

Greeley Pulitzer

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“Eat, Shop, Spend” drive reaches registration target | The Thaiger

Ten million people signed up for the first Eat, Shop, Spend stimulus campaign since its launch on September 23. The organisers have expressed thanks to all who have participated.

The first phase of the campaign aimed to boost domestic spending by offering 10 million people a 1,000 baht voucher via the G-Wallet mobile application to spend in specific shops, outside their province, before November 30.

The Minister of Finance says the campaign will be extended into Phase 2 but with the criteria and regulations adjusted to attract more people with purchasing power to spend their own money, without the 1,000 baht per person give-away seen in Phase 1. The second phase will take place in November and December.

SOURCES: The Thaiger | The Nation | National News Bureau of Thailand

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Thailand

Measures outlined to reach 39.8 million tourists’ target by end of 2019

Greeley Pulitzer

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Measures outlined to reach 39.8 million tourists’ target by end of 2019 | The Thaiger

PHOTO: TAT News – Hua Hin Beach

The cabinet of economic ministers has approved 18 measures with the aim of attracting 39.8 million tourists in the coming year.

A government spokesperson says the measures “comprise short, medium and long-term initiatives”. They include financial and legal steps to stimulate tourism markets, such as the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale “Passport Privileges” which will offer a 30-70% discount for tourists. Medium and long-term measures include special credits for lodging operators and the organising of world-class events, exhibitions and activities nationwide.

One measure being introduced under the Thailand Tourism project consists of two campaigns: one called ’’100 Baht for All Destinations Throughout Thailand’’ will be open for registration on November 11-12 and December 11-12. People can register via the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s website.

The other campaign, called “Shocking Price on Weekdays,” will be offered to those who travel to a Thai destination from Mondays-Thursdays, beginning in November until the end of the year.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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