Friday, 22 July 2011
Thai election agency endorses more MPs, including Red Shirt leaders
BANGKOK, July 22 -- Thailand's Election Commission (EC) late Thursday endorsed 32 more candidates for seats in parliament as winning MPs, including leaders of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), the Red Shirt movement, according to EC Secretary General Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn.
Mr Suthiphon said the agency took some 10 hours to consider complaints against winning candidates, finally dropping the complaints, and endorsed the third batch of 32 MPs -- six party-list members and 26 constituency-based MPs.
Pheu Thai Party MPs in the party-listed category that were endorsed include former Deputy House Speaker Apiwan Wiriyachai and Red Shirt leaders Weng Tojirakan, Wuphuthalaeng Pattanabhumthai, Korkaew Pikulthong, Wichian Khaokham and Pichit Cheunban.
Three other Red Shirt leaders who were winning candidates on the party list and remain suspended are Natthawut Saikua, Jatuporn Prompan who is detained at Bangkok Remand Prison, and Payab Pankate, and they must wait until the commission completes its investigation into whether they broke election laws, according to complaints filed against them.
Karun Hosakul, elected MP for Bangkok Constituency 12 of Pheu Thai Party was also suspended due to many complaints, he said.
A total of 402 MPs from 500 seats have been endorsed by EC so far -- 285 constituency seats and 117 as party-list MPs.
Ninety-eight winning MPs were still not yet acted upon -- eight party-listed candidates and 90 for constituency-based candidates.
To meet the minimum constitutional requirement of 475 seats, at least 73 more MPs must be endorsed for the first meeting of the Lower House of Parliament to be able to take place.
The EC meets Friday to consider whether 'yellow' or 'red' cards will be issued against any winning candidate. Yellow cards were given to Somkid Banthaising, winning candidate of the Pheu Thai Party in Nong Khai Constituency 2 and Jakkawan Chaiwiratnukul, the Bhumjaithai Party's winning candidate in Sukhothai Constituency 3.
A new election in the constituency will be held on July 31.