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December 23 is best poll date, says prime minister

Schedule would give agencies and parties time to prepare: Surayud

Published on August 22, 2007

December 23 is best poll date, says prime minister

Chat Pattana leader Piyawat Limpabhandhu shows off a document used in registering the new party with the

The most appropriate date for the general election is December 23, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said yesterday.

During an official visit to Malaysia, Surayud told re-porters he believed December 23 was the "best timing" because state agencies would have time to prepare, as would political parties.

"The day is also apart from His Majesty the King's birthday [December 5]. There is enough time for an election campaign,'' he said.

The premier said the government would meet with Election Commission chairman Apichart Sukhag-ganond to discuss the date. "The commission is mainly responsible for holding the election and the government has a duty to support it,'' he added.

Meanwhile, Deputy Social Development and Human Security Minister Dr Poldej Pinpratheep said he believed the result of the referendum was a warning to all parties. It showed the public did not approve of the Council for National Security and its coup, adding that another coup would be opposed.

The result can be inter-preted as public dissatisfac-tion with the government

performance in the economy, society and politics. The public is not satisfied with

the constitution draft, too, he said.

"A political group pointed out that people who voted against the constitution draft wanted to teach someone a lesson,'' Poldej said.

He expressed little hope the constitution would be amended as many who voted to accept the draft wished. "If there is no political pressure everyone will forget about political reform,'' he said.

Meanwhile, Sudarat Keyuraphan, a leader of the Thai Rak Thai Group, yesterday called for justice for state officials in areas where the majority of people voted against the draft. She said they should not be transferred.

"I request the government and the junta to stop using power to abuse state officials, especially those in the areas in which locals rejected the draft,'' she said.

Sudarat called on all sides to stop fighting and polarising society. "Both old power and new power must forgive each other and accept Her Majesty the Queen's advice to row the boat in the same direction,'' she said in a statement.

Piyanart Srivalo,

Worranaree Kosajan

The Nation

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