Chairing a nationwide online meeting of provincial election committee directors to explain the new rules, EC Secretary-General Sawang Boonmee said political parties and election candidates would be free to attend social and traditional events such as weddings, funeral rites or ordination rites, reports NNT.
He added that candidates could offer flowers or wreaths, but not money or other assets, with the exception of the hosts arranging their own funds for the parties and candidates as an offering during religious events. The names and numbers of poll candidates attending each event are also prohibited from being announced in a way deemed as supporting their campaigns.
Sawang noted that party leaders, executives and MPs may assist candidates in campaigning for votes using public spaces, schools and state agencies, but they are not permitted to rally public support during speeches through cash handouts or gifts.
According to Sawang, political office holders such as the prime minister and cabinet ministers can appear on TV or radio shows or preside over events, make inspection trips and meet with the public without using their positions or authority to campaign for themselves, parties or candidates.
State agencies can meanwhile carry out their normal duties and other activities, such as holding seminars, but they must maintain their political neutrality.
The EC secretary-general added that once a royal decree establishing the polling date is issued, government officials will be appointed and transferred only as needed to avoid interfering with the election.
According to the EC, the new law establishes a 180-day pre-election period during which these regulations apply. The period began on Sept 24 and will end on March 23, when the four-year term for the House of Representatives expires.
The election is tentatively scheduled for May 7.