The “election” saga drags on

25 04 2019

Now more than a month since the junta’s “election,” the efforts to rejig the result are so slow that “delay” is a word increasingly used. In this slow-motion election result, some recent decisions reveal the path being ever so slowly taken.

The Constitutional Court has refused to hear the Election Commission’s petition on the calculation method for party-list MPs. This is perhaps something of a slap for the EC, which has regularly sought to conceal its politicized decision-making under a cloak of “law.”

Meanwhile, the puppet masters escape scrutiny by pouring pressure on the EC while hidden from scrutiny, yet recently revealed by a disgruntled member of the EC.

On the party-list, it seems likely that the EC’s calculation method will benefit micro-parties which will support the junta’s Palang Pracharath Party. This means the junta gets its result with or without the court and the EC takes any of the heat that might develop.

Meanwhile, after deciding Future Forward’s Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has a case to answer for allegedly being a shareholder in a media company, it is now looking at charging him with “endorsing the candidacy of one party member in the March-24 election who was later disqualified by the EC.​”

The disqualified candidate is Phubet Henlod, a Future Forward candidate in Sakhon Nakhon’s Constituency 2 “whose poll candidacy was withdrawn by an order of the Supreme Court’s Electoral Affairs Division on March 19 after it was proven that he was a partner-manager of a media company, Mars Engineering and Service, which engaged in broadcasting and printed media businesses.​”

The EC considers that “it is a political party’s duty to check and verify the backgrounds of their election candidates and ensure that they are qualified.” If they make a mistake, “party leaders and other executives should be held responsible for fielding a candidate who is not qualified…”.

You get the picture.

Thanathorn is to be wiped out by “legal” means. He just did too well, and we know what the royalist elite thinks of popular politicians, especially wealthy ones.

Puea Thai is also in the EC’s sights, with the party’s Surapol Kietchaiyakorn disqualified and a new election called in a Chiang Mai constituency after the EC ruled the winning Puea Thai candidate violated the election law.

Surapol, who won by more than 10,000 votes, is banned for a year. He donated 2,000 baht and a clock to “Phra Khruba Sam of Wat Phra That Doi Chao for merit-making during the Thod Phapa ceremony at the temple in Chom Thong district on Feb 14, the day that the electoral laws took effect.”

A clock and 2,000 baht pales into insignificance in a context where the ruling junta was shoveling funds into programs to support Palang Pracharath’s campaign.

You get the picture.

We expect much more of this.


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28 04 2019
On stealing the election XI | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] was recently reported that Puea Thai candidate Surapol Kietchaiyakorn was issued the first-ever orange card by the Election Commission. He was accused of buying votes in Chiang Mai […]

17 06 2019
Shaky regime | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] perhaps on the speed with which his case was processed). Rather, the comparison should be with disqualified candidate Phubet Henlod, a Future Forward candidate in Sakhon Nakhon’s Constituency 2. His candidacy was withdrawn by an […]

18 06 2019
Shaky regime I | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] perhaps on the speed with which his case was processed). Rather, the comparison should be with disqualified candidate Phubet Henlod, a Future Forward candidate in Sakhon Nakhon’s Constituency 2. His candidacy was withdrawn by an […]

30 08 2019
Courts brook no criticism | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Obviously, Kovit was comparing this favorable treatment of the military-backed government’s MPs when compared with opposition MPs and candidates. […]