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Thai Election Commission disqualifies speaker of Parliament

Thai Election Commission disqualifies speaker of Parliament

Thailand's Election Commission voted Tuesday to disqualify the speaker of Parliament's lower house for electoral fraud, issuing a ruling that could dissolve the People's Power Party that leads the coalition government.
Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said his PPP would hold a "special meeting to discuss the problem" later in the day.
The Election Commission ruled 3-2 that house speaker Yongyuth Tiyapairat, an executive leader of PPP, was guilty of vote-buying in his northern Chiang Rai province ahead of December elections, said spokesman Raungroj Jomsueb.
The EC will forward its findings to the Supreme Court within 15 days. If the court accepts the case, Yongyuth will have to stop working in parliament pending the court's decision.
Election law states that if a senior member of a political party is found guilty of electoral crimes, the entire party could be disbanded if that person is found to have acted on behalf of the party.
If the Supreme Court upholds the EC ruling, Yongyuth will have to resign as a member of parliament. The Constitutional Court would then decide whether to disband PPP.
Yongyuth is a former adviser to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 coup. He also served as government spokesman and environment minister under Thaksin.
Parliament's choice of a Thaksin loyalist as house speaker was an embarrassment for the military generals who ousted him and had sought to lessen the former premier's influence on Thai politics. Thaksin is accused of corruption and abuse of power.
Despite the coup, Thaksin remains popular with the rural majority who benefited from his populist policies while he held office from 2001-2006.
The PPP, which is packed with Thaksin allies, won the largest number of seats in December general elections, which were the first since the coup.
PPP now heads a six-party coalition that controls about two-thirds of the 480 seats in the lower house.


Updated : 2021-07-28 23:10 GMT+08:00