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Election

Protests demand results and transparency from the EC

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Protests demand results and transparency from the EC | The Thaiger
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by Kai Chanwanpen and The Thaiger

The Thai Election Commission has to keep fending off criticism after protests yesterday were staged over its performance and the number of people demanding its members’ resignations was approaching one million.

A former EC commissioner Sodsri Satayathum is calling on the agency to clear up all issues immediately before citizens launch an impeachment process, warning that the commissioners’ removal from office could postpone endorsement of the final vote results. The EC says full results will be ratified by May 9, but anger is mounting as the wait continues, prompting demonstrations at two Bangkok landmarks.A small but enthusiastic group gathered near the tourist hotspot Erawan Shrine whilst a larger protest was held near Bangkok’s Victory Monument.

University students and other citizens expressed their impatience with the EC’s inability to declare the credible full tally a full week after the election. Discrepancies in numbers provided by the EC have raised suspicions and it has been unable to provide credible explanations to allay public frustration.

The EC has also failed to manage misunderstanding spread over the internet. Every statement the EC issues on its Facebook page has been met with more cynicism.

More than 820,000 people have now signed a petition at change.org to impeach the seven EC commissioners. University students across the country defied school and state officials in setting up tables to gather signatures on petitions with a similar message.

Demonstrators in Bangkok gathered yesterday on the skywalk above the Victory Monument and around the Ratchaprasong intersection to protest the alleged lack of transparency in the election and the performance of the EC. However, the public disaffection might have no real legal impact, according to rights and legislation watchdog iLaw.

The current Constitution rejects public petitions against independent agencies, iLaw said, adding that the complaints should instead be taken to the National Anti-Corruption Commission, which could determine whether there was cause to submit the case to court.

While the public is seething and wants the EC held accountable for its perceived ineffectiveness and lack of transparency, former commissioner Sodsri doubted that impeachment would be a sound option at this stage.

“The investigation could take considerable time before the NACC and the court reach their conclusions. The matter might not invalidate the election altogether, the expert said, but the suspension could interrupt endorsement of the final results and delay other post-election processes.”

It would be best if the EC “came clean” about everything, Sodsri said. In constituencies where results are in question, the agency should reopen the ballot boxes and clear all doubts, she suggested.

Sodsri warned that impeachment of the commissioners would stall post-election activities and the junta would continue to hold the reins of power.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Transport

Thousands of people have been travelling between provinces

Anukul

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Thousands of people have been travelling between provinces | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: corporate-office.business

… but not quite as many as before, so far. The Director General of the Department of Land Transport says that more people have been using the inter-provincial buses services after the government recently easing Thailands’ lock down situation.

He says…

“Although some long distance services are still not in operation to comply with the night time curfew, many inter-provincial routes of around 300 kilometres are open and have seen many commuters.”

“The department will gradually add buses to facilitate increased use and maintain social distancing.”

The department has announced that there were just under a million passengers per day using public buses running between Bangkok and nearby provinces from March 1-25, (the period before the State of Emergency).

  • 141,240 passengers per day taking buses between the capital and other provinces,
  • 9,128 using buses between provinces,
  • 2,379 using buses within a province.

Reports have revealed that after the emergency was effective across the nation from March 26 to May 1, there was a decrease in the number of passengers with 472,210 passengers per day travelling from Bangkok to surrounding provinces, 4,090 from the capital to other provinces, 5,612 on inter-provincial routes and 2,156 passengers between provinces.

After the lockdown was eased on May 2 up to today, the number of passengers has increased to 508,490 per day travelling from Bangkok to surrounding provinces, 6,000 from Bangkok to other provinces, 9,020 on inter-provincial routes and 4,020 passengers between provinces.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

2 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Thailand with one additional death (May 25)

Anukul

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2 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Thailand with one additional death (May 25) | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Bangkok.com

Today the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced 2 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Thailand with 1 additional death. The 2 new cases consist of 1 imported case, a Thai woman repatriated from Russia last Wednesday who is currently under state quarantine in Chon Buri province.

The other is a 49 year old Chinese citizen, the wife of an Italian who has been confirmed infected. She travelled from China to Phuket on March 9 and remained on the island due to the lockdown. She lives in Cherngtalay with her husband and 3 children aged 15, 10 and 7. She shows no symptoms at this stage. Cherngtalay is the tambon bordering Bang Tao, a hotzone for new cases during April and early May.

Thailand’s total number of confirmed cases is now 3,042 with 57 deaths since the outbreak began in January. 2,928 of those have fully recovered and been released from hospital, with an additional 7 new discharges overnight.

Only 57 people remain under medical care for the disease nationwide, and the recovery rate is 96%.

The additional death was a 68 year old Thai woman in Chumphon, southern Thailand. She was reported to have “many personal health issues and the cause of death was due to failure in her lungs and an infection in her bloodstream.”

“She had been in the hospital fighting Covid-19 for about a month and she finally passed away yesterday, minutes after midnight.”

Chon Buri province has had no new confirmed cases in 31 days, with Pattaya 10 days further ahead with no new confirmed cases for 41 days.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | The Pattaya News

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Bangkok

Gas explosion in Pathum Thani destroys garage, 10 cars

Jack Burton

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Gas explosion in Pathum Thani destroys garage, 10 cars | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Rath

Fire ravaged a garage in Pathum Thani, just north of Bangkok, last night, causing a massive explosion of gas cylinders stored inside. Damage was extensive but, fortunately, no injuries were reported. Police at Khu Khot police station were notified at about 8pm, and say the bush fire broke out in tambon Lat Sawai of Lam Luk Ka district.

More than 10 fire trucks, firemen and rescue workers rushed to the scene. They saw grass burning on a vacant land plot and an adjacent automotive parts shop in flames. There were 10 cars and various auto parts, as well as gas cylinders, in the garage, and as the fire tore through it, the cylinders exploded.

Firemen took almost 1 hour to bring the fire under control. The garage, all the cars and other contents were destroyed. Pieces of the gas cylinders also damaged several roofs in the area. 53 year old Khwanmuang Bamrungkit, whose roof was damaged, says he was having a meal when the flaming debris fell on his roof.

56 year old Bunthan Seelabut says he and his family were also eating when the fire broke out. He immediately sprayed water on the walls of his house while his wife called for firemen.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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