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“March 24, most appropriate date for election” – Election Commission

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“March 24, most appropriate date for election” – Election Commission | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Election Commissioner Ittiporn Boonpracong

The Election Commission finally announced a date for the long-awaited election. The poll will be held on March 24, but the EC did not indicate if the official results will be declared before May 9. The situation raises potential legal concerns with the timeframe set by the Constitution.

Hours after the Royal Decree on the general election was published in the Royal Gazette yesterday, chief Election Commissioner Ittiporn Boonpracong called a meeting to decide on the polling date, even though by law the EC has five days to make the decision.

The election date has been a much-discussed topic since the junta-backed government handed the “hot potato” to the EC. Now, it is the EC’s responsibility to ensure the polls do not overlap with the coronation of the monarch, which will be held from May 4 to 6, and the many ceremonies before and after the event.

However, most commissioners decided on March 24 as the date, as they had taken into account other poll-related activities, Ittiporn said.

“This is the most appropriate date because it allows us to carry out all the activities in time,” Ittiporn said.

“These activities include the MP application, voting from abroad, as well as the electoral campaign.”

The commission considered other date options, including March 10 that had been floated earlier, but concluded that it would leave them with too little time for pre-election procedures, he said. Allowing 52 days for parties to carry out their electoral campaigns was one factor that they had taken into consideration.

They finally decided on March 24 as the best option, Ittiporn said. Debate continued, however, over whether the election results should be finalised by May 9 – the final day of the 150-day timeframe set by the Constitution after the MP election law comes into effect.

Ittiporn declined to confirm whether the commission could be able to complete the whole process and avoid the risk of unconstitutional polling, which could lead to an annulment of the election.

After the Royal Decree yesterday, the PM’s Office issued a statement asking people to help keep peace and order throughout the election process as well as the coronation ceremony and avoid any conflict that would lead to a political crisis as in the past.

SOURCE: The Nation



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800 million baht of drugs seized in three recent busts

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800 million baht of drugs seized in three recent busts | The Thaiger

by Jessada Chantharak

Police have seized a total of eight million methamphetamine pills, 2,070 grams of crystal methamphetamine and 1,546 grams of cocaine with an estimated street value of 800 million baht from three recent drug busts.

Four suspects were arrested and a fifth was killed during arrest.

The report from the national police deputy commissioner Pol General Chalermkiat Srivorakan.

In the first case, police arrested three hill tribe men aged between 23-27

27 year old Boonsong Wusueku was killed in a gunfight with police during the arrests.

Eight million meth pills, three pick-up trucks, a pistol and five cell phones were seized in the March 16 bust in Chiang Rai province.

The three men had been charged with having illicit drugs in their possession with intent to sell.

In the second case police and customs officials arrested 47 year old Bamba Adama, from Ivory Coast, who allegedly smuggled 1,546 grams of cocaine in his stomach at the Suvarnabhumi Airport.

He has been charged with smuggling cocaine into Thailand and possessing cocaine with intent to sell.

In the third case, a 28 year old Thai man, Anucha Krinwongsa from Nan, was arrested on March 19 with 2,070 grams of crystal methamphetamine at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

His arrests followed a tip-off a day earlier about a batch of drugs to be smuggled out of the country via the airport.

Anucha was apprehended after officers found the “ice” hidden in his luggage. He was charged with drug possession with intent to sell and attempting to smuggle drugs out of the country.

800 million baht of drugs seized in three recent busts | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Foreign Affairs denies attempts to extradite Thaksin from Hong Kong

The Thaiger

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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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Thungyai wildlife chief could appeal for a heavier penalty for Premchai

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Thungyai wildlife chief could appeal for a heavier penalty for Premchai | The Thaiger

Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary chief Wichien Chinnawong, hailed as a hero for standing up to Premchai and taking his case to court, says, while he respects the verdict of the Thong Pha Phume provincial court on Italian-Thai Development boss Premchai Karnasuta, he believes the billionaire deserved a heavier penalty.

A panel discussion organised by the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation and environment reporters’ club yesterday heard from the Wildlife Sanctuary chief in his first extended comments following the Wednesday verdict.

Mr. Wichien said he spoke to his immediate superior, Mr. Chaiwat Limlikitaksorn, director of the 10th Conservation Area Management Office, and says they both agreed that the verdicts and/or punishments should be appealed.

However, they say they want to study the full text of the court’s verdict first.

Thai PBS reports that the wildlife sanctuary chief, who arrested Premchai and his party, said that all big cats in Thailand’s wilderness have tremendous ecological value, much more than the two million baht compensation demanded by the court.

Premchai was found guilty of carrying weapons in public without a permit, being in possession of a grey pheasant carcass and abetting others in illegal hunting.  He was acquitted of the charges of illegal hunting and of being in possession of a panther carcass.

Mr. Kosonwat Inthuchanyong, deputy spokesman of the Office of the Attorney-General, said the public prosecutor in charge of the case would have to study the full text of the court’s verdict before deciding whether to appeal.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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