Cabinet endorses local election bills

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the six bills for elections of local administrators and members of local administrative councils, paving the way for local elections nation-wide to be held after the national elections.

Among the highlights of the bills is that the Election Commission has the authority to initiate investigation of alleged election frauds without having to wait for complaints.

Under the bills,  the number of votes gained by successful candidates must be  more than the wasted votes — votes cast for none of the candidates.  And those who are found guilty of electoral fraud will face a ten-year political ban.

Government spokesman Lt-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said there would be two rounds of elections for local administrators and members of local administrative councils, with the first round to be held in 40 provinces and the rest of 36 provinces to be held in the second round.

He said the six bills would be sent to the National Legislative Assembly which will take between 2-3 months to pass them and then another three months before local elections are to take place.