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Electoral Commission branded biased failure in independent review

Electoral Commission branded biased failure in independent review

BANGKOK: The Open Forum for Democracy Foundation (P-Net) claims the Election Commission (EC) has not fulfilled its work requirements in its first six months in office.

corruptionpolitics
By Bangkok Post

Friday 8 March 2019, 09:10AM


Ittiporn Boonpracong, chairman of the Election Commission, rated a failure by P-Net in ensuring a free and fair vote on March 24. Photo: AFP

Ittiporn Boonpracong, chairman of the Election Commission, rated a failure by P-Net in ensuring a free and fair vote on March 24. Photo: AFP

P-Net said the EC has failed to demonstrate a strong sense of responsibility, confirm it is not being influenced by any political party, or show it intends to ensure free and fair elections.

Moreover, it has only forwarded one of many complaints lodged with it against political parties to the Constitutional Court, P-Net said.

This was an apparent reference to the court’s decision on Thursday (Mar 8) to disband Thai Raksa Chart for nominating Princess Ubolratana as its prime ministerial candidatea political gambit that spectacularly backfired.

P-Net also accused the EC of ignoring a request to seek a court interpretation as to whether Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is a state official. The Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) has nominated Gen Prayut as its prime ministerial candidate, but state officials cannot be nominated.

The EC has said it expects the PPRP case will take a long time to resolve.

P-Net also accused the EC of failing to spend the state budget wisely.

The EC spent B12 million on overseas study trips at a time when it was needed in Thailand to prepare for advance voting, which will take place on March 17, and the election proper on March 24, P-Net said.

EC secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma rebutted the criticism Thursday, saying the B12 million was to support overseas voting and not for the trip alone.

The Department of Consular Affairs asked the commissioners to inspect overseas voting arrangements in their countries, he said.

He stressed it was not a study trip and said the EC would return before March 17.

The commissioners can convene teleconferences and use their laptops to stay in contact while they are so far away from home, Mr Jarungvith said.

 

Read original story here.

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