Lone Democrat cages defiant watchdog
Three months ago when deputy secretary-general of the Democrat Party Thaworn Senneam walked into the Criminal Court to file a complaint against the election commissioners, accusing them of malfeasance and mismanaging the April election, he knew what he would encounter afterwards.
"Although some people might criticise my motivation for taking action against the EC, I decided to file the complaint because the EC can't work properly and no one dares to sue them," Thaworn said on April 18, the day he filed his complaint.
He insisted he was acting on behalf of those who doubted the EC and said he would be ready to accept whatever verdict was handed down.
The Criminal Court yesterday found EC chairman Vasana Puemlarp and commissioners Prinya Nakchudtree and Virachai Naewboonnien guilty of violating the election laws and sentenced them to four years in jail.
The court declined to suspend the sentences.
If Thaworn had not filed the complaint the political situation would still be under a dark cloud.
Within 30 days a new EC will be appointed to manage the October 15 poll, which is expected to be cleaner than the April 2 vote.
Thaworn will go down in history as the man who redrew the political landscape.
Thaworn, 59, graduated from Thammasat University's Faculty of Law.
He earned a master's degree in public administration from the National Institute of Development Administration.
He served as a state prosecutor in the Attorney-General's Office for 19 years before jumping into politics with the Democrats in 1995.
Thaworn exposed the CTX scanner scandal last year. In 2004 he took the lead in a censure debate against then-deputy prime minister Wan Muhamad Noor Matha, accusing him of concealing assets.