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Election

Constitutional court to rule Thai Raksa Chart’s fate next week

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Constitutional court to rule Thai Raksa Chart’s fate next week | The Thaiger

by Kas Chanwanpen

Thai Raksa Chart Party will know its fate next week after the Constitutional Court yesterday scheduled March 7 to read its verdict on whether the party should be dissolved following a petition from the Election Commission (EC).

The final judgement next week will be made based on the evidence submitted to the court earlier and there will be no further hearings, according to a statement issued by the court yesterday.

Thai Raksa Chart has been accused of undermining the constitutional monarchy system by nominating Princess Ubolratana as its prime minister candidate. The EC petitioned the court to dissolve the party and the executives face a ban from politics for life.

The party’s PM nomination has already been nullified by the EC following a Royal Command issued by the King. Thai Raksa Chart subsequently found itself in trouble for trying to involve the monarchy in politics.

By law, the party can submit additional documents until three days before the day of judgement, the lawyer said, but Thai Raksa Chart will not take the opportunity.

“We believe no further documents or witnesses are needed to make any change to the outcome,” Surachai said.

“The ruling will either be dismissal of the case or dissolution of the party. And that’s final. No appeals or complaints against the verdict is allowed by law. So, we respect the court no matter the outcome.”

The lawyer said the party had made the case that it had no intention to go against the tradition of constitutional monarchy and that the EC had unlawfully approached the court without conducting a proper investigation.

“Now it was up to the court to make the decision and the party would respect that.”

Thai Raksa Chart leaders such as Mitti Tiyapiratch, Nattawut Saikua and Wim Rungwatanachinda were at the party office yesterday to follow the developments closely. Its de jure leader Preechaphol Pongpanit and senior figure Chaturon Chaisang, however, were nowhere to be seen.

With its status as Pheu Thai Party’s major ally designed to win party-list seats in the House of Representatives under the new election system, dissolution of Thai Raksa Chart could deal a massive blow to the Shinawatra camp.

Political scientist Stithorn Thananithichot, however, saw a silver lining in the whole development, saying that at least the ruling will be issued 17 days before the election. That would give the party’s supporters adequate time to decide which party they should cast their votes for as an alternative to Thai Raksa Chart, he said.

If the votes were strategically aimed at opposing the coup-backed regime, voters could still cast their ballots in favour of other pro-democracy parties, Stithorn said.

The expert added that though it was believed the lawsuit was politically motivated to favour pro-junta parties, they were unlikely to benefit from the dissolution as the court verdict would come well before the election.

If Thai Raksa Chart was dissolved after the election, the votes would have been wasted with voters unable to shift their loyalties to other parties, he explained.

Constitutional court to rule Thai Raksa Chart's fate next week | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation



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Election

Some election results out by 8pm Sunday night

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Some election results out by 8pm Sunday night | The Thaiger

More than 92,000 polling stations will be operating this Sunday for the national poll to elect a new Government. Seven million new voters, eligible since the last poll in 2011, will make a new impact on the election results making predictions more complex than in the past.

Election results will start dribbling out of smaller polling booths just an hour after voting in this Sunday’s national election.

Voting will close at 5pm on Sunday, according to the Election Commission.

The EC secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma says results can be expected in less than an hour from smaller polling stations, adding that unofficial results from at least 95 per cent of the polling stations should be ready by 8pm on Sunday.

These results will reveal the number of constituency seats won by each party, but figures on party-list seats will not be released until after the EC has officially endorsed the election results, Jarungvith added.

“The agency will not do the calculations to find out the number of party-list MPs on Sunday. Also, numbers may change, especially if by-elections are required or if ballots need to be recounted in some areas. We can only reveal the results once we have endorsed the votes,” he said.

A private group led by rights watchdog iLaw have launched the vote62.com website to serve as a platform for updates on election results and as a means to prevent fraud during the counting of ballots.

Those participating in ballot counting can take photographs of the counting board and post the pictures on the website, while those keeping track of the vote-count on TV or online platforms can enter tallies or upload photos on the website.

The group said the results displayed on the website will later be compared by the official results released by the EC to ensure transparency.

Meanwhile the Health Department is issuing tips advising voters to get at least six hours sleep before casting their vote.

Voters are being urged to wear light clothes because the temperature on Sunday is expected to rise up to 40C in central and northern parts of the country and up to 35 or 36 in southern areas.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Election

Foreign Affairs denies attempts to extradite Thaksin from Hong Kong

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Foreign Affairs denies attempts to extradite Thaksin from Hong Kong | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The happy couple and ‘dad’, in HK for tomorrow’s wedding

The director of the foreign affairs department of the public prosecutor’s office in Thailand says media reports that the Thai officials are trying to extradite former PM and fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra in Hong Kong, are wrong.

Daily News reports that Chatchachom Akkhapin says there was no truth in stories of efforts to extradite Thaksin from Hong Kong.

Thaksin is in Hong Kong from tomorrow (Friday) to attend the wedding of his youngest daughter Paetongtarn “Ing” Shinawatra to a commercial pilot.

Chatchachom says no contact had been made with Hong Kong authorities but he concedes that, even  though Thailand and Hong Kong have no formal extradition treaty, it would still be possible to request the return of a wanted fugitive if the evidence presented was sufficient.

In the first instance he says they would need to ascertain the address of Thaksin in Hong Kong and the public prosecutor’s office don’t know where Thaksin is staying.

The denial follows a post on “Thaksinlive” on Instagram earlier this week that indicated Thaksin would be in Hong Kong for “Ing’s” wedding on March 22.

Read The Thaiger’s report, that the Department has now denied, HERE.

SOURCE: Daily News

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Chiang Mai

Man caught masturbating in front of election banner in Lampang

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Man caught masturbating in front of election banner in Lampang | The Thaiger

Locals in Lampang in Thailand’s north have complained to the media that an older man had been caught on dash cam masturbating in front of an election banner for a female candidate for this Sunday’s election.

Sanook reports that the woman in the poster was ‘attractive’.

The man, estimated to be between 60 – 70 years old, was shown in Thung Fai sub-district repeatedly rubbing the poster of the female candidate with his left hand before using the same hand to masturbate.

When he realised he was being filmed he abruptly stopped. Locals told Sanook that they caught the man behaving like this before, although The Thaiger notes the last election was back in 2011.

SOURCE: Sanook

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