KATHU: New regulations coming into force on July 9 next year stipulate that committees set up by the Office of the Election Commission of Thailand (OECT) will oversee the running of local elections instead of officers from the Ministry of Interior. Phuket Senator Paiboon Upatising made the announcement at a seminar on Friday entitled Distribution of Authority and Elections Under the New Law, which was held at the Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Campus. Sen Paiboon said “Starting next year, all local elections will be regulated and managed by officers of the OECT instead of the Ministry of Interior.” He predicted that, as a result of the re-assignment of responsibility, elections will be more fair. “Cheating will decrease because OECT committees will directly oversee local elections,” he explained. Sen Udorn Tantisunthorn, President of the Senator Administration Committee, also voiced his support. “Now the [laws] must be written to support all citizens, [which is] the way a democracy should be,” he said. Sen Paiboon explained that the aim of the seminar was to help the public and local politicians understand the local electoral system. “Many people do not understand how OrBorJor and OrBorTor (provincial and tambon administration organizations) members are elected or how many representatives per constituency there should be,” he said. “I invited local politicians to explain to them how the new system works, and to tell them about the local elections next year and the role of the OECT. For example, we explained how local electoral boundaries are set and how the number of representatives for each constituency is determined,” he added.
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