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Thai politics

Yingluck and others yet to be endorsed by Thailand’s Election Commission

2011 07 13 nation yingluck

While it’s unclear whether the news constitutes a “bombshell,” as the Nation headline says, here are some details.

Today’s Bangkok Post tells us that:

Yingluck Shinawatra, Abhisit Vejjajiva and a number of red-shirt politicians were missing from the 358 MPs endorsed by the Election Commission yesterday.

They failed to receive confirmation of their election victories from the EC in its first batch of result endorsements, as investigations into complaints against them for allegedly breaching election law are pending.

Pheu Thai’s Ms Yingluck, who is expected to be the next prime minister, Mr Abhisit, the outgoing premier and former Democrat Party leader, and key red shirt leaders including Jatuporn Prompan and Natthawut Saikua are among 142 poll winners whose confirmations have been suspended pending investigation.

And:

Also among those not yet endorsed are the Democrat Party’s acting secretary general and deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban, the Democrats’ PM’s Office Minister Ong-art Klampaibul and former House speaker Chai Chidchob from the Bhumjaithai Party.

And finally, on the would-be “noodle-gate“:

Ms Yingluck, meanwhile, has been cleared by the EC of alleged vote-buying in connection with a highly publicised incident when she fried noodles and distributed portions to voters during a May 31 campaign stop in Nakhon Ratchasima province. However, the EC has not yet ruled on other allegations facing her, and so her poll win cannot yet be endorsed.

Meanwhile, the Nation says:

The Election Commission rattled would-be prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra and the Pheu Thai Party last night after it delayed endorsement of her election win and those of 11 other party candidates.

The commission said the endorsement of Yingluck was delayed pending an inquiry into “several” legal matters regarding her party’s election campaign. Yingluck was portrayed by Pheu Thai as its prime ministerial candidate with a controversial slogan “Thaksin thinks, Pheu Thai acts”. She was also accused of violating vote-buying rules by cooking and distributing noodle dishes to constituents. Subsequently, the accusation was dropped by the EC.

The EC also held back endorsement of former Democrat leader and outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva over complaints of vote-buying.

However, the EC has never “suspended” top party-list candidates in the past.

And:

The EC traditionally does not immediately endorse those who have had complaints lodged against them. The EC will meet again on July 19 to reconsider those have not yet been endorsed. EC member Sodsri Sataya-thum said a subcommittee would look into legal matters concerning the cases of Yingluck and Abhisit and report to the EC in seven days.

Endorsed members of Parliament were advised to pick up documents for their House of Represen-tatives registration from tomorrow.

The EC will have 30 days to investigate the cases of the other 55 MPs-elect who were questioned, the source said. By August 1, at least 475 MPs must be endorsed so that the House can assemble and begin work.

(All emphasis mine.)

(Image: @lekasina on Lockerz.)

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Thai politics

Suit filed against Yingluck for alleged help from banned politicians

I wanted to point out this WSJ story from Saturday, which notes that:

Critics of incoming Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her allies filed the first major legal case challenging their recent election victory, signaling the start of what could become a protracted effort to destabilize Thailand’s new government.

The case, filed Friday by the head of the legal team for Thailand’s outgoing ruling party, seeks to dissolve Ms. Yingluck’s victorious Puea Thai party for allegedly relying on campaign help from politicians previously banned from Thai politics. Chief among them is Thaksin Shinawatra

(All emphasis mine.)

Categories
Thai politics

An unexpected Yingluck-related lede…

2011 07 11 yingluck noodles

…comes from Saturday’s Bangkok Post, which noted:

The EC is investigating an allegation that Pheu Thai’s potential candidate for premiership Yingluck Shinawatra violated election law when she cooked fried noodles and distributed it to the voters during a May 31 campaign stop in Nakhon Ratchasima province. But at first glance, it is likely she did nothing wrong.

(Emphasis mine.)

BP has some commentary.

It appears unlikely that anything will come of this alleged transgression. But just noting it for the record, given former PM Samak’s food-related firing in 2008.

(Image: Bangkok Post.)

Categories
Thai politics

My new GlobalPost story: Yingluck, women’s rights, and Thailand

I have a new story at GlobalPost. It’s called “Thailand: Is Yingluck a win for women’s rights?

Categories
Thai politics

More on potential anti-Yingluck demonstrations

Reuters has more on potential anti-Yingluck demonstrations, which the WSJ mentioned earlier:

Days after Thailand voted for a new government led by the country’s first woman prime minister, a determined doctor with a knack for rallying crowds is pursuing legal action to bring her down.

Tul Sitthisomwong, a die-hard opponent of self-exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, accuses the billionaire’s sister and Prime Minister elect, Yingluck Shinawtra, of perjury and wants the courts to indict her before she takes office.