Thai election campaign budget limited at $50k per head

16:32, May 20, 2011      

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A limit of money for election campaign is set at 1.5 million baht (about 50,000 U.S. dollars) per one MP candidate while constituency contenders are suggested to wait until registration before starting their election campaigns, Election Commission of Thailand (EC) announced on Friday.

Thailand's general election is set on July 3 after Prime Minister Abisit Vejjajiva dissolved the House of Representatives on May 9.

Election Commissioner Sodsri Sattayatham said the EC and political parties had a discussion on election campaign budget on Thursday, and the meeting concluded that the budget limit is at 1. 5 million baht for each candidate. She said all political parties must later report their campaigning expenses with the EC.

As for the first-day registration of party-listed MP candidates on Thursday, the commissioner said it went on in orderliness. She believed that there were not many political parties left for candidate registration until the last day of the registration on 23 May 2011.

During Thursday ballot drawing for registration of party-list candidacy, the ruling Democrat Party got No.10, while its important rival, Puea Thai Party got No. 1.

Asked if constituency MP candidates could immediately use the campaign number of their political parties drawn on Thursday in their individual campaigns, Sodsri responded that the law does not prohibit the action; however, she advised that the candidates wait until they have completed the registration. They should wait until their qualifications have been confirmed by the EC because they might be found guilty of deceiving the public for launching election campaigns despite their lack of qualifications for the candidacy, she said.

Source: Xinhua
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