Kao Mai Party denies election accusations
PHUKET TOWN: The OrBorJor Kao Mai Party, which swept into power in the Provincial Administration Organization elections (OrBorJor) on February 4, today denied in court accusations leveled at it by the losers in the election, the Pattana Tongtin Party. In the first hearing into the accusations, the Phuket Provincial Court this morning heard the charges filed by 10 of the 15 members of the Pattana Tongtin Party, in which it was alleged that the Kao Mai violated the Provincial Administrative Election Act. It also heard rebuttals from Kao Mai. Specifically, Kao Mai denied that Harnchai Jantarachote, acting as the representative of the party, had donated a motorcycle and other valuables as prizes for a lucky draw. People who came to vote in Muang District were eligible to take part in the draw, the suit alleges. The party also denied printing and distributing fliers promoting the lucky draw, with the words, in red, “Numbers 20-34 – the Whole Team” (the election numbers of the 15 Kao Mai candidates). It also denied hiring Niyom Kemkang to hand out these fliers to residents of Muang District. Kao Mai’s lawyers told the court that the party had nothing to do with a football tournament to which, Pattana Tongtin alleges, Kao Mai invited teams from the eight tambon in Muang District. The allegation named the tournament as the “First Kao Mai Football Cup” and said Kao Mai awarded a prize for the winning team. Kao Mai replied that the tournament was arranged by Aroon Soros under the name of the “Phuket Traditional 1st New Cup”, and had nothing to do with Kao Mai Party. Nor, said Kao Mai’s lawyers, had the party awarded prizes to any of the competitors. Somchai Duangkae, now Chairman of the OrBorJor, and Wannakorn Pattarapakorn denied giving money to voters in Tambon Taladyai on the day of the election. The hearing into the allegations was adjourned to June 12. Meanwhile, Panya Kittikun, District Officer of Phuket Town, who was named in the case, has brought suit against the Pattana Tongtin Party, accusing it of defaming him.
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