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Yingluck, Abhisit ‘to get election body’s nod’

Posted on 19 July 2011 by admin

Pheu Thai’s top party-list candidate Yingluck Shinawatra, the PM-in-waiting, and Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva are expected to be endorsed as MPs Tuesday, Election Commission member Somchai Juengprasert said Monday (July 18).

The Election Commission is scheduled to announce a second batch of endorsed MPs Tuesday. However, Somchai, who is in charge of election investigations, said it was not certain yet if all other winning candidates would be endorsed.

Somchai said the EC could endorse all poll winners first as MPs and disqualify them later if concrete evidence of legal violations is found. However, many people opposed that, so the decision would also be up to the four other EC members.

An EC source, who asked not to be named, said the commission was ready to issue three more “yellow cards” and order new elections in Sukhothai, Udon Thani and Ayutthaya.

Last week, the EC endorsed 358 MPs out of the 500 House seats. It also ordered a new election for Nong Khai’s constituency 2, where Pheu Thai candidate Somkid Banthaisong got the most votes.

Yingluck’s victory has been opposed because of the alleged involvement of banned politicians – such as her brother Thaksin – in her election campaign.

Abhisit, meanwhile, faced claims of alleged abuse of power – that he indirectly bought votes because the commerce ministry held a trade fair on the day of advance voting.

At least 475 MPs are needed for a quorum so that parliament can convene for a first time.

The People’s Network for Elections in Thailand or P-NET Monday gave feedback to the EC about organisation of the July 3 poll. P-Net committee member Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said the group praised the electoral body for suspending endorsement of Abhisit and Yingluck as MPs.

But it also voiced some criticisms.

The EC needed to carefully consider the qualification of all winning candidates before endorsing them. It was better to investigate first and order a new election or disqualify MP candidates than let them become MPs then take legal action once they were in parliament, Somchai said.

If the EC exercised the latter process, there was the risk of people cheating to win the election and getting the most MP seats in the House to form a government first.

Disqualifying MPs would be more difficult than investigating right after the election, he said, because that process must be ordered by a court and the case must be finished within a year of the election.

P-Net criticised the EC over several matters of confusion, especially related to absentee voting and vote counting.

P-Net urged the Election Commission to provide clarification about errors such as the difference between the ballot cards for constituency MPs and party-list MPs.

Somchai said the number of eligible voters changed many times from May 19 to July 11. In regard to the EC’s explanation on the different numbers of ballot cards for constituency and party-list MPs, P-Net found no province had 101,681 voters turnout, as claimed by the EC.

Khattiya Sawatdiphol, Pheu Thai’s 42nd party-list candidate, went to EC headquarters Monday to acquire the document approving her as an MP.

The daughter of the late Maj General Khattiya, one of the red shirt leaders, said becoming an MP was partly a gift from her father.

Khattiya shifted from the Khattiyatham Party founded by her father to Pheu Thai before the July 3 election.

She said Khattiyatham Party would not merge with Pheu Thai. A new executive of the party would be appointed. She had asked her sister Kittiya to take the party leader’s post but it was uncertain if she would accept it.

Meanwhile, the former leader of the New Democracy Party asked the commissioners yesterday to approve him as the party’s sole party-list MP.

Suratin Picharn, the party’s former leader and top party-list candidate, was disqualified due to bankruptcy. Questions have been raised on whether his approval to field MP candidates was legal and valid.

If New Democracy Party is disqualified, the seat might go to Suwit Khunkitti, leader of the Social Action Party, which got the next most votes on the party-list.

Head of New Democracy Party’s legal team Wimol Saramano said the EC must be responsible for approving the the registration of Suratin’s party on April 21.

Article source: http://asianewsnetwork.feedsportal.com/c/33359/f/566602/s/16c0d1b4/l/0L0Sasianewsnet0Bnet0Chome0Cnews0Bphp0Did0F20A0A12/story01.htm

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Brendan Says:

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