Another poll unlikely while political tension remains: Thai Election Commission

Another election is unlikely to be staged if the bad political atmosphere remains, Election Commission chairman Supachai Somcharoen said yesterday.

However, Supachai said the situation had to be evaluated day-to-day and the EC would also invite leaders of the military and security agencies to join a meeting between the EC and the caretaker government on Wednesday.

The EC and the government had earlier reached an agreement that an election should be held on July 20, with some conditions.

But the election agency has had problems drafting the Royal Decree for the election and has asked the government for another meeting.

"If we cannot keep the July 20 schedule, we have to postpone it, but until when will be up to EC member Somchai Srisutthiyakorn to manage as he is in charge of holding the election. We have to consult with many parties involved," Supachai said.

He added that the EC did not want a repetition of the mistakes made in the nullified February 2 election, which was a waste of taxpayers' money.

Supachai said the EC was doing its job to the best of its ability and without any intention of delaying the election.

EC secretary-general Puchong Nutrawong said the government had accepted the invitation.

Puchong said caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana had sent a reply saying the participants would include caretaker PM's Office Minister Varathep Ratanakorn, caretaker Justice Minister Chaikasem Nitisiri, the secretary-generals of the Cabinet and the Council of State, as well as the permanent secretaries of defence and the interior and the national police chief.