Updated: Red shirts, Jatuporn and the EC

31 07 2011

As is her style, Election Commissioner Sodsri Sattayatham has barked a warning to red shirts. She has warned red shirts against pressuring the EC to endorse jailed red shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan.

She went further, by threatening a military coup if red shirts “harmed” any election commissioner. She added that military intervention would make a Puea Thai Party coalition government impossible.

PPT is not entirely sure what threats she refers to. Certainly, red shirts have been demanding that Jatuporn be endorsed. PPT thinks the red shirts are right to keep pressure on the EC.

Jatuporn was approved as a candidate by the EC and his local EC official approved his reason for failing to vote – the Abhisit Vejjajiva government had had him jailed. Those two decisions make a mockery of the EC’s delays on approving his election.

What is happening behind the scenes is that the EC is receiving pressure to “punish” Jatuporn. While other red shirt leaders were jailed for several months, Jatuporn initially escaped that fate because he had an MP’s immunity. As soon as the election was called, the government threw him in jail. The pressure from that regime’s backers is now to continue Jatuporn’s punishment. The higher ups hate him because he is popular and speaks against the elite.

Jatuporn was elected while incarcerated. He should now be released and be permitted to serve as an elected member of parliament. The elite should back off.

Update: A reader says we should have mentioned the red shirt threat to take the EC commissioners to court on Jatuporn’s case. We would have, except we got the impression that Sodsri was referring to a greater threat than this.


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