Thailand proposes date for new vote

Thailand's Election Commission and 20 political parties have proposed that fresh parliamentary polls be held at the end of September or the beginning of October.

    A court ruled the poll on April 2 was invalid

    The commission secretary-general Ekachai Warunprapha said the election date had not been finalised and must be approved by the cabinet.

    The dates, September 24, October 2 and 8 are to be presented to the government and could be chosen by the cabinet at its next meeting on Tuesday.

    Commissioner Prinya Nakchudtree said: "The commission will propose the options for the government to consider, but we think these dates are the most suitable."

    A court invalidated last month's snap election. The leading opposition parties that boycotted the last poll refused to attend the meeting, but have insisted they will contest the next polls.

    Analysts have said that an election in the second half of the year could encourage defections from the ruling Thai Rak Thai party, after its leader, Thaksin Shinawatra, stepped aside as prime minister in the wake of weeks of street protests in Bangkok.

    Thaksin's party won the April 2 polls with 56%, but his victory was undermined by the opposition boycott which encouraged many people to cast protest ballots.

    Thai law requires that candidates belong to their parties for at least 90 days before the vote.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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