thaicables – It's Your Right to know the Truth!

06BANGKOK1626 MORE CANDIDATES DISQUALIFIED FOR THAI SNAP ELECTION

leave a comment »

“56768”,”3/16/2006 9:41″,”06BANGKOK1626″,

 

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,

“06BANGKOK1301|06BANGKOK1475|06BANGKOK1626”,

“VZCZCXRO0650

PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM

DE RUEHBK #1626/01 0750941

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 160941Z MAR 06

FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7219

INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS

RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI 1499

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI

RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI

RHFJSCC/COMMARFORPAC”,”C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 001626

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/16/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, TH

SUBJECT: MORE CANDIDATES DISQUALIFIED FOR THAI SNAP ELECTION

 

REF: A. BANGKOK 01301

B. BANGKOK 01475

 

BANGKOK 00001626 001.2 OF 002

 

Classified By: POLITICAL COUNSELOR SUSAN M. SUTTON. REASON 1.4 (B,D)

 

1. (C) Summary. The April 2 snap election is in trouble.

The Election Commission (EC) has disqualified more than

one-third of registered candidates–almost all from the minor

parties. More than half of the election districts in the

country will have only one candidate running–almost always

from Thaksin\’s Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party–increasing the

likelihood that the election will not fill all 500 seats,

which could block the formation of a new government. Citing

these concerns, the head of the EC publicly speculated on

Wednesday that the election may be delayed. A second EC

commission told PolCouns on March 16 that only a royal decree

can change the election date. He added that, in his opinion,

the failure to fill all 500 parliamentary seats may not

necessarily prevent a new government from forming, but the

Constitutional Court may have to rule on this question. End

Summary.

 

CANDIDATES DROPPING LIKE FLIES

——————————

 

2. (SBU) Chairman of the Election Commission (EC) Vasana

Puemlarp told reporters March 15 that the EC was considering

postponing the snap election, based on registration problems.

According to Vasana, the EC has disqualified 320 of the

941 candidates who registered. Out of the 400 constituency

seats up for grabs, 271 are now single candidate races,

meaning that these candidates must receive 20 percent of

eligible voters in their district to win. One constituency

now has no candidates running–both the Thai Rak Thai and

minor party candidate were disqualified by the EC. Vasana

added that the EC was petitioning the Supreme Court to

disqualify an additional 84 candidates, which could produce

more single, or even no-candidate races. (Note. The Supreme

Court has the final say on candidate eligibility and EC

decisions. Candidates who have been disqualified have seven

days to appeal their case to the Court. End Note.)

 

3. (SBU) Vasana specifically cited these developments as

reasons to consider delaying the snap election. \”It would be

a waste of state funds if the election goes ahead…and a

government cannot be formed.\” As reported in refs, it will

be difficult for TRT to meet the 20 percent threshold in

opposition strongholds such as the South, leading many to

speculate that some seats may not be filled, which could

block the formation of a new government.

 

EC CLARIFIES ELECTION DELAY PROCESS…

————————————–

 

4. (C) In a meeting with PolCouns and Poloff on March 16,

Election Commissioner Charupat Ruangsuwan explained that only

a royal decree could delay the election date. The EC cannot

make this decision unilaterally. A new decree would

(presumably) be written by Thaksin and his caretaker cabinet,

and then forwarded to the palace for approval. The election

would still have to occur by April 22, the last Saturday

within the constitutionally mandated 60-day period. Charupat

did not comment on the likelihood of this scenario, saying \”I

do whatever the law says…I am the referee.\”

 

…AND OFFERS NEW WRINKLE ON WORST-CASE SCENARIOS

——————————————— —-

 

5. (C) Charupat did offer a new perspective on the

possibility that the election would fail to form a new

government. When asked what would happen, should the

election fail to fill all 500 seats, Charupat replied that

the constitution does not clearly require all seats to be

filled to form a new government (Note. An analysis that our

own reading of the constitution–and the conventional wisdom

here in Bangkok–doesn\’t agree with. End Note) He said that,

in any case, this is not the decision of the Election

Commission. They just certify the winners. He believes

that, if fewer than 500 MPs are elected, the Constitutional

Court would likely have to decide the issue.

 

6. (C) Charupat tried hard to avoid hypothetical questions

about the looming problems with the technical aspects of the

vote. He emphasized repeatedly that the EC just obeys the

law. He welcomed the idea of election observers to monitor

the vote.

 

BANGKOK 00001626 002.2 OF 002

 

COMMENT

——-

 

7. (C) Who says that Thailand\’s independent institutions are

dead? The EC, short on resources as always, appears to be

doing a decent job. That said, this fine job is further

casting doubt on the ability of the snap election to resolve

the current crisis.

BOYCE

Advertisements

Written by thaicables

July 10, 2011 at 5:21 am

Posted in Confidential, Election

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: