Local elections likely later this year: Anupong

Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda said today local elections, including the one for Bangkok, are likely to be held before the end of this year as the Council of State, the agency which advises state agencies on legal issues, is in the process of wrapping up amendments of six related laws.

All local elections in the country have been suspended since the National Council for Peace and Order came to power four years ago. The six laws that Gen Anupong referred to concern elections of the Bangkok Metropolican Administration (BMA), Pattaya City, provincial administration organisations (PAOs) and municipalities of various levels.

He said the Interior Ministry is coordinating closely with the Council of State about the law amendments. The Election Commission is seeking to amend more than 100 items in these laws while the Council of State tries to speed up the amendment process by meeting twice a week, he said,

Once approved by the Council of State, the proposed amendments will be forwarded for a joint meeting of the National Councill for Peace and Order, the government, the Election Commission and other agencies concerned, said Gen Anupong.

Asked whether the local elections should be held before or after the general election, which has been tentatively scheduled for February next year, Gen Anupong said once the related laws have been amended the local elections should be held in 45 days.

He said the local elections are likely to be held before the end of this year, provided that the laws are well in place but added that he agreed with a suggestion that there should be ample interval between the local elections and the general election.