BANGKOK (Nation, Gazette): A general election will be held, Judge Ura Wangormklang announced today after the Constitutional Court today declared the controversial April 2 election to be invalid.
Judge Ura said that of the 14 judges involved in the ruling, eight to six voted to annul the April 2 snap election on the grounds that it was unconstitutional, and nine judges voted in favor of holding fresh elections.
The decision follows complaints by Thammasat University law lecturer Banjert Singkanati and Gen Saiyood Kerdpol, President of the Peoples’ Network for Elections, that there had been a number of irregularities in the April 2 election.
The complainants alleged that the snap election, held 37 days after the announcement of the parliament’s dissolution, had given an unfair advantage to the ruling party, that a major party had paid candidates from smaller parties to stand in electorates that otherwise would have been uncontested, and that polling stations had been set up in such a way that voter privacy had been unconstitutionally compromised.
They also argued that the Electoral Commission (EC) made decisions, including accepting the results of the election, without first convening a meeting with all commission members present as they are obliged to do by the constitution.
However, a date has yet to be set for the election. Phuket Electoral Commission (PEC) Director Kittipong Thiengkunagrit told the Gazette, “We don’t know anything yet because we still haven’t received any orders from the Central Electoral Commission (CEC).
“There will definitely be an election but I don’t know when and how because it is not yet known whether the EC will resign or not. If they do resign then it will take time to appoint a new EC. Therefore I cannot comment on anything now, we will just have to wait and see.”
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