Thailand's anti-graft body wants Election Commission to review populist policies

The National Anti-Corruption Commission will seek assistance from the Election Commission to try to prevent political parties implementing populist policies that damage the country, NACC secretary-general Sansern Polchiak said yesterday.

Sansern said the two bodies would meet soon to discuss measures to try to stop the country incurring huge losses as a result of populist policies such as the rice-pledging scheme.

He said the NACC was inspired to create a preventive mechanism after questioning officials linked to the rice-pledging scheme.

These officials knew the drawbacks of the project but believed it had to continue because it was a major poll campaign promise.

Sansern said the NACC would propose to the EC, which has direct responsibility for organising elections, that it issue regulations and check the feasibility of campaign policies of all parties before allowing them to be advertised.

He said political parties had to provide clearer details on populist policies such as sources of funding, their possible negative impact and ways to prevent an adverse impact.

"We want to prevent the same problems from being repeated because we have a number of corruption complaints in connection with populist policies,'' he said.