PHUKET: The rules imposed by the Office of the Election Commission of Thailand (OECT) governing what MPs may do during the run-up to the election campaign period have, according to Chalermlak Kebsup, Democrat MP for Phuket District 2, obstructed her.
“I feel chained by the rules,” K. Chalermlak said. “The OECT has said that MPs must not conduct any campaigning or take part in activities that could be construed as campaigning during the 60-day period from November 5 to January 5, 2005.”
January 5 marks the end of the term of the current government, and, after that day, MPs are free to campaign for election – within the laws laid down by the OECT.
Said K. Chalermlak, “We [the Democrat Party] wanted to bring our promotional ‘caravan’ to the southern areas of Thailand, following similar tours of the north and northeast of the country, but now we cannot. We will have to wait until January.”
The rules were introduced in the run-up to the general election in 2001.
Constituents, she said, had the impression that she was no longer interested in them, “but in reality it is these rules that have prevented me from appearing in public,” she said.
K. Chalermlak confirmed her intention to run for parliament again as the Democrat candidate in the forthcoming election. She said that Suwit Sa-Ngiamkul, the current Democrat MP for Phuket District 1, will also run for re-election.
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