Can This Ever Happen In Malaysia?
In a stunning decision, the Criminal Court found Election Commission (EC) chairman Vasana Puemlarp and two of its members Prinya Nakchadtree and Virachai Naewboonnien guilty of mishandling the April 2 election and a subsequent election. The three were released temporarily pending a bail hearing. The commissioners had come under heavy pressure to resign following the April 2 election which was boycotted by major opposition parties and later declared invalid by the Constitution Court.
The suit was filed against the trio by Democrat party deputy secretary-general Thavorn Sennium on April 18. Last week, the Government announced that Thailand will hold its second general election in six months after King Bhumibol Adulyadej signed a royal decree on the Oct 15 election. In his suit, Thavorn alleged the three had violated the Criminal Code and MPs and Senators Election Act.
The Democrat had alleged that the EC went on with the April 23 repeat election without a royal decree. Under the Thai election law, a new election must be called if candidates could not muster the required a minimum of 20 per cent of total votes to be declared winner.
In its decision, the Criminal Court ruled that Thavorn had no authority to file the criminal charges but the commissioners were found guilty of violating the MPs and Senators Election Act.
The Court also stripped their right to vote for 10 years.