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Count continues amid surging complaints

Four days after the national election and we are still no closer to knowing the ‘winner’ as the county’s Election Commission continues the counting of the remainder of the votes amid accusations of delays and mishandling of ballots in some locations. 95% of the voting has now been completed.

The EC says that the results after counting the remaining 5% of votes could not be announced due to the complaints of irregularities in some constituencies, even as political parties and activists piled pressure on the agency to announce the final tally to endorse the winners.

At least seven political parties yesterday sent their representatives to lodge complaints with the EC, seeking an explanation for the slow pace of ballot counting and irregularities.

The EC’s secretary-general Jarungwit Phumma says they would take time to investigate all the 146 complaints but would complete it before the official deadline for the announcement of election results on May 9, following the coronation of His Majesty the King between May 4-6.

Future Forward spokesperson Pannika Wanich said the commission’s performance did not deserve the 5.8 billion baht budget allocated to them from taxpayers’ money.

Meanwhile, six parties including Pheu Thai, Future Forward, Seri Ruam Thai, Prachachart, Puea Chat and Phalang Puangchon Thai have signed a petition addressed to the EC, urging the agency to disclose the complete vote tally immediately. They’re also urging them to count the 1,542 delayed ballots from New Zealand.

Pheu Thai spokesperson Ladawan Wongsriwong said the public expected to know the final results of the voting two days after the election.

With 95 per cents of the ballots counted, Pheu Thai claimed victory in 137 constituencies and led a coalition of seven parties to compete with the pro-junta camp to form the government.

EC president Ittiporn Boonpracong said yesterday the agency took the blame for some of the problems found during the election but rejected speculation that the irregularities could lead to the annulling of the election.

“The results of the ballot tally have been shown at polling stations since the beginning and the people or political parties can check there,” he said.

“The result is now being transferred to the commission at the provincial levels and to the EC headquarters eventually.”

SOURCE: The Nation

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