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Tue, May 9, 2006 : Last updated 17:22 pm (Thai local time)



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Home > Headlines > Constitution Court invalidate the April election and order new election





Constitution Court invalidate the April election and order new election

The Constitution Court ruled on Monday invalidated the controversial April election and ordered a new election to be held, Court's Secretary General Paiboon Warahapaithoon said.

Eight of the court's 14 judges voted that the polls had been unconstitutional for a variety of reasons, such as the manner in which the ballot booths were placed in a way to compromise voting privacy.

Eight judges who ruled the election is unconstitutional were; Pan Chantarapan, Jira Boonpochanasoonthorn, Noppadol Hengcharoen, Preecha Chalermwanich, Mongkol Sara-an, Saowanee Assawaroj, Apai Chantanajullaka and Ura Wang-ormklang.

Six other judges who ruled that the April 2 election was conducted properly and legitimate were; Sak Techacharn, Pol Gen Suwan Suwanvechoe, Manit Wittayatem, Jumpol na Songkhla, Suthee Suthisomboon and Suwit Theerapong.

The court also voted 9-5 that a new election should be held, Paiboon said at a press conference.

The nine judges were Jira Boonyapochanasoonthorn, Noppadol Hengcharoen, Preecha Chalermwanich, Mongkol Sara-an, Manit Wittayatem, Saowanee Assawaroj, Apai Chantanajullaka, Ura Wang-ormklang and Pan Chantarapan.

The five others Sak Techacharn, Suwan Suwanvechoe, Jumpol na Songkhla, Suthee Suthisomboon and Suwit Theerapong.

In past cases, Pan has repeatedly voted in favour of the government of Caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Meanwhile leading opposition party, the Democrats, who boycotted the April 2 polls, said they are now ready to contest a new election.

"We are preparing for the new election, but we still have no details on the election day," said Democrat spokesman Ong-art Klampaiboon.

The historic ruling came after two groups of people filed complaints with Constitution Court, alleging that the election is unconstitutional.

The complaints -- filed by a Thammasat University law lecturer and the People's Network for Elections, a Thai watchdog -- argue that the April 2 date was chosen unfairly, that the winners were improperly certified, and that the ruling party had financed campaigns by fringe groups.

The most serious issue was that the ballot booths were placed in a way to compromise voting privacy despite the fact that the constitution stipulate that the voting has to be direct and secret.

When the meeting of judges began at the 10am, about 20 protesters standing outside the court room called on members of the election commission to resign.

The sitting of the judges today on the issues came after HM the King suggested senior judges from the Supreme Court, Supreme Administrative Court and Constitution Court to launch deliberation on a series of cases to determine the  legality of Thailand's April 2 snap election which has led to widespread political confusion.

In an audience with newly appointed judges to the Supreme Court and Supreme Administrative Court, HM the King said it was the duty of the judiciary to find a way out of the country's looming constitutional crisis, caused by a highly peculiar snap election held earlier this month.

The Nation








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