Thailand's election commission appeals for cooling-off period before polling date

Thailand's election commission appeals for cooling-off period before polling date

The Election Commission yesterday appealed for cooling-off period out of fears that the wrangling over when the snap election should be held could lead to an escalation in unrest and a dispute over the poll results.

"The Election Commission views that the best way for improving the current situation is for all sides to reconcile and reduce their demands to a level that can be acceptable to all. There is no loser or winner, but it will be a way out for Thailand," the five new commissioners said in a statement yesterday.

They also urged a reconsideration of the February 2 election date, saying it should not be allowed to "limit the possibility for Thais to reach reconciliation".

Somchai Srisuthiyakorn told the EC's press conference that the agency found that in the current situation, it would be difficult to hold a trouble-free election.

"It has been widely agreed that there could be a disturbance because this is not a normal situation," he said.

The remark came as the People's Democratic Reform Committee, which has been protesting against the caretaker government for more than six weeks and is demanding postponement of the election until political reform is completed, led another march in Bangkok that drew several thousands of supporters.

Somchai suggested that mediators facilitate negotiations between the government and the PDRC on whether the February 2 election should go ahead.

If there are no talks and the February 2 date is confirmed, the EC would do its best to hold the election, he said.

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