See More on Facebook

Politics

Opposition warns Thai Election Commission to not show favourtism

The Election Commission has come under pressure from all quarters for alleged biases.


Written by

Updated: +00

Sudarat Keyuraphan, one of the Pheu Thai Party’s prime ministerial candidates, has warned election commissioners not to calculate the number of party-list MPs in a way that benefits any particular group, which would be a violation of the Constitution.

Sudarat said yesterday on Facebook the Election Commission “must not risk violating the law, |particularly the Constitution, to help a group of people stay on in power”.

In response, the EC rejected Sudarat’s allegation, saying it had no intention of serving the interests of any particular group of people. Through its News Operation Centre, the agency also noted that her claim could cause misunderstanding and lack of confidence in the EC.

 

In a separate development yesterday, a senior Democrat Party figure has disputed a claim that many of its elected members want to join a coalition government headed by the pro-junta Phalang Pracharat Party.

Democrat chief adviser Chuan Leekpai said the party had made no determination on the matter.

The former premier was in effect disputing a claim made by fellow Democrat Thaworn Senneam that many in the party were ready to support a Phalang Pracharat-led coalition.

“We have to wait for the new executive board to make a resolution,” Chuan said. “This talk about joining a Phalang Pracharat coalition was just the personal view of Thaworn and his group. It’s not a party resolution.”

Thaworn, a successful candidate for the party, said on Facebook yesterday that most other Democrats elected in constituencies were agreed about joining a Phalang Pracharat-led coalition.

They simply want their own party’s policies put into effect by the next government, he said.

“If we’re in the opposition we’ll be unable to take care of the people fully,” Thaworn wrote. “And if there is any political upset that forces another election, we’ll have no selling point for our campaign.”

Thaworn had on Friday said about 30 elected Democrats met at party headquarters to possible coalition partnerships. He said his group’s call to be part of the next government was meant to ensure “the survival of the country”.

He said supporting Phalang Pracharat would not be contrary to the party’s ideology as some have alleged.

In the Future Forward camp, leader Thanathorn Juangroong-ruangkit said yesterday no one in the party was fearful or concerned about legal actions brought against him and other key party figures.

He said the legal charges were meant to damage the party, but all of the accused members were confident they would be proven innocent. “We believe in our innocence,” he said. “Nobody will be able to find us guilty. The party’s supporters can be assured about this.”

The billionaire politician stands accused of sedition and being involved in an illegal political gathering in 2015 while martial law was in force. He will be tried in military court.

Future Forward secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul |is charged with contempt of court and violating the Computer Crimes Act.

Referring to the legal action, Amnesty International Thailand campaigner Katherine Gerson yesterday called on the authorities to respect rights and avoid using criminal charges to “gag political enemies”. She also asked for an end to the practice of trying civilians in military court.

Meanwhile most people surveyed for a Suan Dusit Poll last week said they were “concerned” about official results of the March 24 election remaining unavailable. More than 40 per cent of respondents said they were “worried” that Thai politics was left in uncertainty. Almost 24 per cent said they were concerned that political foes were being drawn into a “severe dispute”.

Suan Dusit University surveyed 1,257 people in all regions of the country between April 2 and 6. Asked what should be done in the current situation, 51.3 per cent of respondents said all sides should work together, while almost 30 per cent called for the law to be respected.



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

Taiwan expresses regret over sentencing of H.K. democracy activists

The activists were sentenced to prison for organizing and participating in pro-democracy protests. Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) expressed regret yesterday after a court in Hong Kong handed down prison sentences of up to 16 months earlier that day on nine leaders of pro-democracy demonstrations in 2014. In a statement, the MAC, Taiwan’s top China policy-making body, said that the court ruling proved China’s “one country, two systems” mechanism does not respect and guarantee people’s political rights. It also called on the parties concerned to adhere to their commitment to the “one country, two systems” policy of governing Hong Kong and the promise to grant Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy as enshrined in the Basic Law. That is the only way to observe the rule of law and maintain Hong Kong’s prosperous development, the MAC said. A Hong Kong court handed down s


By Asia News Network
April 26, 2019

Politics

Pro democracy candidate charged by Thailand’s election commission

The EC accuse a pro-democracy leader of holding media shares while running for office. The Election Commission (EC) yesterday unanimously resolved to press a charge against Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit over alleged violation of media shareholding rules. Citing investigations by two EC panels, Sawang Boonmee, the EC deputy secretary-general, told a press conference that Thanathorn had allegedly violated the law by owning or holding 675,000 shares in V-Luck Media Company while registering as a candidate for the general election. “Thanathorn’s share certificate number is from 1350001 to 2025000,” said Sawang, referring to the findings of two panels the EC had set up to investigate the case. Thanathorn was accus


By Cod Satrusayang
April 24, 2019

Politics

PM Imran’s statement in Iran comes under intense opposition attack

Khan said in Tehran that Pakistan has been used as a staging area for attacks in Iran. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s public acknowledgement in Tehran that terrorists had in the past misused Pakistani territory to undertake attacks against Iran came under a blistering attack by the opposition in the National Assembly on Tuesday. Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen Mazari defended the prime minister, saying his statement was being quoted out of context. In an unprecedented, albeit bold move, Imran, while speaking at a joint press conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani after a round of talks on Monday, had said: “I know Iran has suffered from terrorism [perpetrated] by groups operating from Pakistan. …we [need to] have trust in each other that both countries will not allow any terrorist activity fr


By Dawn
April 24, 2019

Politics

Japan’s ruling party loses by-elections

LDP loses 2 lower house by-elections. Candidates of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party lost in both of Sunday’s House of Representatives by-elections, in Osaka Constituency No. 12 and Okinawa Constituency No. 3, according to preliminary reports by The Yomiuri Shimbun. The results could serve as a harbinger of the House of Councillors elections this summer and show how the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is being evaluated. In Osaka, the by-election was held following the death of the LDP’s Tomokatsu Kitagawa, who was the former state minister of the environment. Fumitake Fujita, 38, of Nippon Ishin no Kai secured the seat after beating three other competitors, including the LDP’s Shinpei Kitakawa, 32, also supported by junior coalition partner Komeito. Other contenders were Takeshi Miyamoto, 59, an independent and former lower hous


By The Japan News
April 22, 2019

Politics

Feud between ruling and opposition bloc deepens in Korea

The opposition party is reorganizing and assembling as pressure builds on Moon Jae-in. The friction between the ruling bloc and the main opposition Liberty Korea Party is showing signs of intensifying following a conservative rally Saturday. On Saturday, estimated 20,000 conservatives gathered in central Seoul in a rally organized by the Liberty Korea Party. The party’s rally, the first major demonstration organized by the party since Hwang Kyo-ahn took office as its leader, was joined by members of smaller conservative groups supporting former President Park Geun-hye. Hwang Kyo-ahn (center), head of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, and members of the conservative


By The Korea Herald
April 22, 2019

Politics

Asian press freedom under threat

Some common themes and little optimism as press freedom takes a back seat in Asia. The media advocacy group, Reporters without Borders—also known by its international name Reporters Sans Frontières, or RSF—released its 2019 World Press Freedom Index on Thursday. The report tells a bleak story of the future of news ecosystems around the world, and warns of increasing danger for the men and women who have made reporting the news their jobs. The index’s assessment of Asia-Pacific’s press freedom describes an atmosphere of increasing cyber harassment, physical danger and intimidation for reporters—factors that unsurprisingly have led to growing levels self-censorship across the region. A look at a the state of press freedom in a few countries around the region reveals some recurring patterns: Legal systems have been increasingly wielded as weapons by governments to silence media outlets and indiv


By Quinn Libson
April 21, 2019