See More on Facebook

Politics

Thai EC threatened with lawsuits, impeachment over alleged irregularities

Irregularities during the election campaign include impossible voter turnout (over 100 per cent) and alleged miscounting.


Written by

Updated: March 27, 2019

The Election Commission (EC) came under intense pressure yesterday as political parties pushed for transparency and fair treatment amid suspicions of intervention and manipulation of Sunday’s national vote.

 EC members yesterday met for over three hours before deciding not to count the 1,542 ballots cast in advance voting by Thai expatriates in New Zealand.

The ballots, transported by air to Thailand, failed to arrive at their intended polling stations in time for vote counting on Sunday.

The anti-junta Future Forward Party threatened to take legal action against the commissioners for alleged malfeasance if they failed to call new voting in constituencies where officials manning polling stations were accused of unfair practices.

Future Forward executives yesterday submitted their request for the EC to disclose all key data about Sunday’s general election. They cited the Official Information Act.

Klaikong Vaidayakarn, the party’s registrar, said the request was for the EC to disclose information such as the number of eligible voters, voter turnout, number of ballot papers for polling stations, ballots considered void, and the votes each candidate obtained.

“Disclosure of such information can help reduce the possibility of election fraud,” Klaikong said.

He claimed there were attempts to reduce the number of votes Future Forward had got in many areas throughout the country.

A Future Forward candidate in Bangkok, Adisorn Pho-arn, yesterday said certain election officials in Constituency 5 had acted unfairly in favour of candidates from the pro-junta Phalang Pracharat Party while counting votes.

He demanded that the EC decide within three days whether to call new voting in the constituency. “If they fail to make things clear, I will sue the EC for dereliction of duty,” he said.

The anti-junta Pheu Thai Party yesterday pressured the EC to ensure fair treatment amid alleged interventions and manipulations.

“We just want fairness in this election. It has been alleged that special power was used to interfere with the election,” Pheu Thai secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai said.

He also asked the EC to announce the votes obtained by the candidates as soon as possible, to avoid accusations the EC was “fixing the numbers”.

An online campaign at the Change.org website for impeachment of Thailand’s election commissioners obtained support from 757,000 netizens yesterday evening. The goal was to gather 1 million supporters.

The campaign’s leaders explained on its page that it was launched after Sunday’s election showed signs of irregularities and was faced with a lot of allegations.

Meanwhile, the European Union called for the election results to be announced as soon as possible.

“We look forward to the announcement of the election results as soon as possible. It is also important that any reported irregularities are resolved swiftly and transparently,” the EU said in a statement.

Yesterday, there were media reports of unqualified persons being listed as eligible voters in Sunday’s election.

A Facebook user under the name Anusara Pholboon posted a message that her three-month-old son was listed as an eligible voter. It was also reported that a seven-year-old girl and a woman who had died 20 years ago were among separate lists of eligible voters.

As of yesterday, the election agency ordered removal of content in 68 social media accounts deemed violating the electoral law. These included messages and photos attacking various political parties, election candidates and prime ministerial nominations.

In a related development, police found hacker attacks on the EC’s online vote-count reporting system known as Rapid Report.

The hacker attacks resulted in the system collapsing three times on Sunday, said Police Lt-General Surachet Hakparn, deputy director of the Taskforce for Information Technology Crime Suppression.

Surachet said the hackers had launched their attacks from inside and outside the country. “They are the same group of people,” he said but refused to identify them.

Also, he declined to specify whether the hackers were involved with any political group.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Nation (Thailand)
About the Author: The Nation is a broadsheet, English-language daily newspaper founded in 1971 and published in Bangkok, Thailand.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Politics

Pro-junta bloc says it’s ready to form a government

The group claims deal with Democrats, Bhumjaithai parties. The Pro-Junta Phalang Pracharat Party claimed to have successfully cobbled together a coalition that could form a new government with the participation of the Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties, a source from the major coalition partner said yesterday. Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha will again head the post-election administration, with many members of his current post-coup Cabinet joining him, including General Prawit Wongsuwan, General Anupong Paochinda, Somkid Jatusripitak and Wissanu Krea-ngam, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. However, it remained unclear if Prayut would also double as defence minister or allow Prawit to assume the post again in addition to the deputy PM’s post. Phalang Pracharath will get at least 16 Cabinet seats and the Democrats and Bhumjaith


By The Nation (Thailand)
May 20, 2019

Politics

Jakarta on edge ahead of protests against election results

The opposition has yet to yield and admit defeat. Indonesia is on edge following plans by an Islamist group to hold a two-day rally at the elections commission (KPU) on Tuesday (May 21), to protest the impending results of last month’s presidential polls. The call for Muslims to throng the streets around the KPU headquarters in downtown Jakarta has been circulating on social media at the weekend – just before Wednesday’s deadline for the official vote count to be completed. The rally organisers, who identified themselves as Persaudaraan Alumni 212, are calling the mass gathering a “constitutional Jihad”, according to publicity material seen by The Straits Times on Sunday (May 19).


By The Straits Times
May 20, 2019

Politics

Exit polls show Narendra Modi’s coalition set to return to power

Most pre-election surveys had suggested that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi would return to power. Exit polls predicted Prime Minister Narendra Modi will return to power in a landslide win as curtains came down on the largest democratic exercise in the world. Voters in 59 constituencies voted on Sunday (May 19), ending the seven-phase elections in which 900 million people were eligible to vote. At least four exit polls, which were released half an hour after the voting ended, showed between 286 to 306 seats for the alliance led by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). They pr


By The Straits Times
May 20, 2019

Politics

Blip on Modi’s social media, communications radar

Has Modi’s social media policy backfired. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attempts to ‘humanise’ himself over the past 10 days or so seem to have boomeranged. At least on social media. For a politician who has championed the use of social media platforms and integrated them into his communications strategy to gain direct access to the people without the “filter” of intermediaries, that’s saying something.  Modi refused to hold even a single Press conference through his five-year tenure as PM and keeping professional media at arm’s length.  But he went on an interview spree in the past fortnight aimed at reaching out to voters in the last two phases of India’s weeks-long general election. Informal, one-on-one interactions with leading television anchors and editors of m


By Ishan Joshi
May 20, 2019

Politics

Philippines government says no cheating in mid-term elections

Duterte’s government says left’s defeat was due to its own shortcomings. The loss of senatorial candidates and party-list groups backed by the Left should be a “wake-up call to re-asses their actions,” Malacañang said Wednesday. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued this statement as he dismissed the claim of Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes that the midterm elections were not that credible due to cheating. “We expect the likes of Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes to cry “cheating” and question the ‘Duterte magic’ following the crushing defeat of many left-leaning party-list groups and their candidate for senator, Mr. Neri Colmenares, in this year’s elections,” Panelo said. In a statement, Reyes said the “Duterte magic” was the “use of government resources to favor administration bets, use of the AFP and PNP to target and harass opposition gr


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
May 16, 2019

Politics

Junta loyalists pack Senate in Thailand

The senate will have a key role to play in choosing the next prime minister. The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) took a major step towards retaining power by naming scores of people it patronises and who are loyal to it as constitutionally endorsed senators. Of the 250 names announced yesterday for the junta-picked Senate, 104 were military or police officers –retired and in service – while other figures included former members of junta-appointed bodies who had served the post-coup regime in the past five years. The move marks an about-turn for the junta, which had pledged to stay away from politics and had come to power promising to cleanse the country of corruption and nepotism. In addition to people from the Armed Forces, the senator list also included family members of junta leaders as well as close aides. The list includes General Pree


By The Nation (Thailand)
May 15, 2019