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Pheu Thai says coalition intact but remains wary of defections by MPs to rival camp

Published April 22, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30368072

 A voter casts his ballot at Polling Station No 32 in Bangkok’s Constituency 13, where a poll rerun was held yesterday.
A voter casts his ballot at Polling Station No 32 in Bangkok’s Constituency 13, where a poll rerun was held yesterday.

Pheu Thai says coalition intact but remains wary of defections by MPs to rival camp

politics April 22, 2019 01:00

By The Nation

THE SEVEN political parties that have come together to form the next government remain “strongly united” although defections of its MPs to the rival coalition are likely, a key figure in the Pheu Thai Party said yesterday.

Phumtham Wechayachai, Pheu Thai’s secretary-general, said that the seven parties in the Pheu Thai-led coalition remain firm in their resolution to prevent the junta from returning to power.

He said that if the rival coalition wanted to form the next government without a majority in the House of Representatives, it would need to “buy the support” of some MPs from his group of political parties.

“That method is not dignified. It will cause harm to our democracy. People are watching. Any side that opts for such a method will be punished by the people. And their real intention of staying on in power will be clear to the public,” Phumtham said.

The politician said Pheu Thai had won the most number of House seats in the March 24 general election and should have the first right to form the next government. He added, however, that there was an attempt by the party with the second most House seats to form a coalition government by arguing that it had won the most popular votes in the election.

He did not name the party in question but was obviously referring to the pro-junta Phalang Pracharat.

Phumtham called on the Election Commission (EC) to have the courage to announce the election results “fairly and with good reasons”. He warned that any attempt to please the powers-that-be would result in bad consequences for the EC.

“The EC must come up with clear election results. In fact, whichever side is able to form the next coalition, the government will lack stability,” he said, referring to the slim majority in the Lower House.

Phumtham said Pheu Thai has decided not to change its current leader, Wirode Pao-in, as it was focusing on forming the next government. “Focusing on changing the party leader would mean we had given up” our attempt to form the next administration, he added.

‘Things will be clear after May 9’

Pheu Thai convened its general meeting at party headquarters yesterday. Among the participants were senior leaders, key figures, elected MPs and branch representatives.

At the meeting, newly elected Pheu Thai MPs who had failed to sign a party “pledge” to prevent the junta from staying on in power were asked to join.

Meanwhile, Phalang Pracharat remained confident yesterday it would be able to form the next coalition government, one of its spokesmen, Buddhipong Punnakanta, said. Buddhipong said things would become clear after the EC announced the final election results, around May 9.

“Our allies who will form the government with Phalang Pracharat have shown their commitment to an extent, as has been reported in the media. But things will become clear after May 9,” he said.

Regarding New Economy Party leader Mingkwan Sangsuwan’s recent announcement that his party would not join a Phalang Pracharat-led coalition, Buddhipong said yesterday that his party respected that decision.

New voting was held at six polling stations in five provinces yesterday.

The Election Commission (EC) called for the poll rerun after inconsistencies were found at the polling stations in the March 24 general election. The number of ballots cast differed from that of eligible voters registered to vote at those polling stations.

Of the 92,320 polling stations in last month’s election, inconsistencies at only six were considered “acceptable mistakes”, election commissioner Lertwiroj Kowattana said yesterday. He was inspecting the voting at polling station number 32 in Bangkok’s Constituency 13, where a new vote was called. Accompanying him were EC secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma and Bangkok election director Witchuda Mekhanuwong.

In addition to the Bangkok polling station, vote reruns were also held at two polling stations in Lampang province, and at one polling station each in Phitsanulok, Yasothon and Phetchabun provinces.

The number of eligible voters at the polling stations involved ranged from a few hundred to less than 1,400. The EC received more than 300 complaints of suspected fraud in the general election but most of them did not warrant new voting, Lertwiroj said yesterday.

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Elections reruns held at six polling stations

Published April 22, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30368058

  • Lampang province
  • Bangkapi district ,Bangkok Photo by Korbphuk Phromrekha
  • Bangkapi district ,Bangkok Photo by Korbphuk Phromrekha

Elections reruns held at six polling stations

Breaking News April 21, 2019 16:28

By The Nation

2,117 Viewed

New voting was held at six polling stations in five provinces on Sunday.

The Election Commission (EC) called for the poll rerun after inconsistencies were found at those polling stations in the March 24 general election. The number of ballots cast differed from that of eligible voters registered to vote at those polling stations.

Judging from as many as 92,320 polling stations in last month’s election, inconsistencies at only six places were considered an “acceptable mistake”, election commissioner Lertwiroj Kowattana said on Sunday.

He was inspecting the voting at polling station number 32 in Bangkok’s Constituency 13, where new voting was called. Accompanying him were EC secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma and Bangkok’s election director Witchuda Mekhanuwong.

In addition to the Bangkok polling station, vote reruns were also held at two polling stations in Lampang province, and one polling station each in Phitsanulok, Yasothon and Phetchabun provinces. The number of eligible voters at the polling stations involved ranged from a few hundred to less than 1,400.

The EC received more than 300 complaints of suspected fraud in the general election but most of them did not warrant new voting, Lertwiroj said on Sunday.

Latest : New Economics Party reiterates ties to pro-democracy bloc

Published April 20, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30367978

File photo : Mingkwan Sangsuwan
File photo : Mingkwan Sangsuwan

Latest : New Economics Party reiterates ties to pro-democracy bloc

politics April 19, 2019 17:42

2,084 Viewed

Leader of New Economics Party Mingkwan Sangsuwan on Friday reiterated his party’s stance to join with the pro-democracy bloc and against the pro-junta party Phalang Pracharat.

Amid uncertainty over which camp New Economics would team up with after the election, Mingkwan yesterday reiterated he would not join with Phalang Pracharat because of ideological differences.

Six New Economics candidates were elected in the March 24 poll. Mingkwan gave assurances at Friday’s press conference that none of the new MPs would defect.

The party’s deputy leader, Supadit Argadriks, also repeated the party’s intent to help uphold democracy with a constitutional monarchy, and live up to its pledge to voters.

Some of the party’s members on Thursday petitioned the Election Commission to dissolve the party, alleging it had fallen under outside influences related to powerful business interests.

The deputy leader insisted on Friday that the party was united. He said the complaint had stemmed from a misunderstanding.

The petition plaintiffs on Thursday said leader Mingkwan had failed to conduct a promised party meeting and that they suspected a businessman was behind his political movement.

Supadit said the businessman they referred to was his close friend and was a party member and list MP, not an outsider.

Supadit said legal action would be taken against the plaintiffs.

Miscount cases in Khon Kaen solved, fresh voting at six polling stations

Published April 19, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30367936

file photo
file photo

Miscount cases in Khon Kaen solved, fresh voting at six polling stations

Breaking News April 19, 2019 01:00

By   THE NATION

THE TWO MISCOUNTS of votes in Khon Kaen province was resolved yesterday after a recount showed that inconsistencies might have stemmed from an official marking the wrong boxes.

Two polling stations – the first and fifth – with a few hundred eligible voters in Khon Kaen’s Nam Phong district recounted the ballots yesterday following an order by the Election Commission (EC).

In the first polling station, the voter turnout was 324, matching the total ballot count. Of these, 304 were found valid, two were no votes and 17 were invalid.

The previous mistake appeared to be with the invalid ballots, officials said, adding that previously the referee had marked 18 invalid ballots, which resulted in the inconsistency.

The recount in the fifth polling station also found the ballots and voter turnout tallied at 624. There were 587 valid ballots, 33 invalid and four no votes.

The recount showed that Phalang Pracharat candidate Kitti Kamkankoon may have gained one wrongful vote in the previous count.

The recount in both stations did not change the initial results, with Pheu Thai candidate Jatuporn Charoencheu winning the constituency. No objections were raised after the recount.

The ballots from both stations yesterday were counted in the district’s town hall with hundreds of people, including politicians and party representatives, observing the event.

EC commissioner Chatchai Chanpraisri said yesterday the recount had gone smoothly and transparently.

The new results will later be submitted to the EC and the agency will endorse the overall results on May 9, he said, adding that the previous inconsistencies in the two polling stations were believed to have been caused by officials marking the wrong boxes.

In addition to the recounts at these two stations, the agency has also ordered six polling stations to hold fresh elections after the number of ballots and voters did not tally.

Elections will be held this Sunday in some constituencies of Lampang, Yasothon, Phetchabun, Phitsanulok and Bangkok’s Bang Kapi district.

Three of the affected polling stations were in constituencies won by Pheu Thai Party and two by Phalang Pracharat.

However, with each station having only a few hundred or thousand votes in races where the winner and runners-up had tens of thousand, the re-elections are unlikely to change the results at the constituency level.

Yet, if a significant number of voters change their minds, it is still possible they could affect the number of eventual party-list MPs.

It was also observed that voter turnout might drop due to the lack of publicity.

A number of people might be unaware of the re-election and miss the opportunity to cast their ballots.

EC orders another recount and re-election

Published April 19, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30367926

file photo
file photo

EC orders another recount and re-election

politics April 18, 2019 19:11

By The Nation

2,213 Viewed

The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday ordered a recount and re-election in Nakhon Prathom and Chumphon provinces although the deadline to announce the official results was approaching.

The agency deputy secretary-general Sawang Boonmee told the press that one constituency in Nakhon Prathom with over 240 polling stations would need a recount.

Evidence had shown the counting may not have been lawful and affected the candidates.

Eighty sets of referees would take charge to count all the ballots again. Each of them would be responsible for the counting at around three polling stations.

The order to recount stemmed from a petition by Future Forward candidate Savika Limpasuwanna running in Nakhon Prathom.

She came second, only 147 votes behind the Democrat Party candidate.

Sawang said that the agency had investigated and found irregularities may have occurred.

In Chumphon, Sawang said a by-election would be conducted in one polling district because of a ballot discrepancy.

Junta supporter demands Senate votes to pass budget

Published April 19, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30367923

file photo
file photo

Junta supporter demands Senate votes to pass budget

politics April 18, 2019 19:00

By The Nation

Junta champion Paiboon Nititawan on Thursday proposed that the military-appointed Senate be authorised to pass the national budget bill in order to avoid political deadlock.

The idea came amid concern that the next government would be unstable and unable to pass important bills.

Political rivals, for and against the National Council for Peace and Order, are neck and neck in their efforts to form a government with some 240 or 250 MPs each in the 500-member house.

The Constitution stipulates the Senate had the authority to push through national reform. Paiboon suggested that all legislation in the next five years could involve “reform”.

The idea, however, was not welcomed.

Wissanu Krea-ngam, deputy prime minister in charge of legal affairs, said it was impossible to claim all the laws were related to national reform and deserved the Senate to pass.

“This is not the solution. The solution is to have a majority MPs in hand,” Wissanu said.

Other politicians also opposed the idea, including Future Forward secretary-general Piyabutr Sangkanokkul and Pheu Thai member Chusak Sirinin.

Piyabutr said Paiboon had cited an exception and the country could not be run by exception. If the principles of the Constitution could be removed, then the election was unnecessary, he said.

Chusak said the national budget had nothing to do with reform.

If the government could not pass its budget, it had to resign, he said, adding that Paiboon should not interpret the law in favour of himself.

New Economics Party rebels demand dissolution

Published April 19, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30367918

file photo
file photo

New Economics Party rebels demand dissolution

politics April 18, 2019 18:27

By The Nation

Members of New Economics Party on Thursday petitioned the Election Commission to dissolve their party, accusing it of being under outside business influence.

The petition was made by a group led by Ulaiporn Traiwong, Prayong Sangsriha and Komkrit Supakdee, calling for the EC to halt the announcement of the seats won by the party and dissolve it.

They alleged the party might have fallen under the influence of outsiders.

The party leader, Mingkwan Sangsuwan, had failed to keep his promise to conduct an internal meeting before the election, they said, adding that they suspected he had been influenced by business interests.

A tycoon had funded the election rallies and campaign and the party had not been free to conduct its own activities, they added.

The Constitution demanded political parties be free from business influence and the punishment was dissolution, the three members said.

The New Economics Party won five to six seats in the House of Representatives, the initial calculations show.

Its MPs had planned to join the pro-democracy league to keep the junta out of office.

Victimisation of rivals dangerous, junta warned

Published April 18, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30367860

Victimisation of rivals dangerous, junta warned

politics April 18, 2019 01:00

By KAS CHANWANPEN
THE NATION

Future forward’s piyabutr pleads innocence and hints his party is being targeted because of its rapid rise.

WHILE MEMBERS of pro-democracy parties continue to be targeted with suspected politically motivated lawsuits, a political scientist yesterday warned this tactic of eliminating political rivals might backfire and lead to a legitimacy crisis later.

In the latest case, Future Forward Party secretary-general Piyabutr Sangkanokkul yesterday acknowledged the charges pressed against him by the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), whose chief is a PM contender after the general election last month.

“Seeking advantage over rivals is common in politics. But this cannot be without consequences. They could face questions of legitimacy even if they successfully conspire to attain their goal,” said Attasit Pankaew, a political expert from Thammasat University. “All the unfairness that can be seen right now will lead people to question if [Piyabutr] would have been hit with a lawsuit if he were not so popular in the election.”

The pro- and anti-junta blocs have been going after each other since the election with politically motivated lawsuits.

But it has been observed that one camp may have been hit harder. For instance, when the court was petitioned to seek the disqualification of junta chief Prayut Chan-o-cha as a prime ministerial candidate because he was a public servant, the ruling went in favour of the incumbent.

While these kinds of political challenges are common around the world, Attasit said that public sentiment could play a major role in making any change. “It’s how the public responds to the treatment that could improve this culture,” he said. “Meanwhile, the authority has to provide an explanation and ensure that the due process of law is followed without victimising political rivals.”

While many people are counting on the March 24 election as paving the way for an end to political divisions, the expert warned that the relentless unfair treatment meted out to some groups of politicians could make people think the election did not really end the conflict.

Piyabutr has been charged with contempt of court and breaching the computer crime law for reading out a statement in relation to the dissolution of Thai Raksa Chart Party in February.

Piyabutr, a former law lecturer at Thammasat University, yesterday denied the charges. He insisted on his innocence, saying as a law scholar the criticism was meant as an academic comment and that he believed in the justice system.

“The chief of the NCPO is the PM candidate of a political party, which was a rival of Future Forward Party in the election and he has assigned an official to prosecute me for contempt of court,” he said.

“Let me make an observation: the judicial branch is a part of the sovereign state and cannot escape criticism, especially the Constitutional Court which rules on political conflicts and whose judgement is likely to be scrutinised,” Piyabutr told reporters. “Disagreement with a court judgement is not a crime.”

Paying the price of popularity?

Asked about the common perception that his party was being targeted because of its popularity, which helped it win more than 80 seats in the lower house on its electoral debut, Piyabutr said that was one way to look at the development.

“Future Forward was founded last year but we already face a number of charges,” the law professor-turned-politician said.

Earlier, Future Forward leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit was also charged with sedition.

Piyabutr’s meeting with the Technology Crime Suppression Division yesterday was observed by both international and local rights agencies – the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

NHRC observer Angkhana Neelapaijit told The Nation that lawsuits targeting activists, academics and politicians in Thailand in the past five years since the military took power were worrying.

This does not mean that those campaigning for democracy are above the law, but the authority should ensure that the treatment was not judicial harassment or a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP).

“If they have really committed crimes, they should be punished, of course,” the NHRC commissioner said. “But if it is SLAPP, we have to admit that once they get caught up in the lawsuits, it can really be a burden, making it hard for them to be activists.”

Pheu Thai member demands re-election in Samut Prakan

Published April 18, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30367830

  • Photo by Rachanon Intharagsa
  • Chatchai na Bangchang shows what he claimed as irregularities in Samut Prakarn province.//Photo : Rachanon Intharagsa

Pheu Thai member demands re-election in Samut Prakan

politics April 17, 2019 15:34

By The Nation

2,345 Viewed

A Pheu Thai Party member on Wednesday demanded that the Election Commission (EC) organise a re-election in Samut Prakan province, citing irregularities in many constituencies.

Chatchai na Bangchang filed the complaint with the EC on behalf of Nuntawan Prasobdee, a Pheu Thai candidate for Constituency 7.

He claimed that there were suspected irregularities in at least 12 polling stations such as voting results submitted to the EC headquarters did not match those displayed at the polling stations themselves.

For instance, he said, 694 voters had shown up to exercise their rights at a polling station, but there were 695 ballots in the boxes.

Chatchai also submitted video clips and photographs to EC representatives to substantiate his claims.

Country returning to undemocratic rule, warns senior Pheu Thai figure

Published April 17, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30367793

file photo
file photo

Country returning to  undemocratic rule, warns senior Pheu Thai figure

Breaking News April 17, 2019 01:00

By THE NATION

WITH REPORTS predicting the setting up of a national unity government to tackle the political deadlock, veteran politician Phumtham Wechayachai said yesterday that the Constitution and the legal framework had indeed been designed to cause complications and difficulties that would draw the nation down the path to undemocratic rule.

“The political situation is on a course that shows we are going toward a dead end,” he posted on Facebook yesterday, amid a climate of rising fears that forming a democratic government may be impossible.

Phumtham, Pheu Thai Party’s secretary-general, has called on the public and all concerned parties to think carefully about the idea that a national unity government would be an appropriate way out of the so-called political impasse.

He said there was a democratic solution for everything, and if the authorities followed the law, all necessary procedures could be implemented smoothly.

Phumtham called on the authorities, including the Election Commission, to complete their duties responsibly and to prioritise national interest so the country can find a way to avoid a dead end.

His statement referred to confusion over the calculation for allocating seats in the Lower House. Unless the issue is settled fairly, critics see the allocation process as being potentially used to justify an agenda to establish a national unity government.

Democrat politician Thepthai Senawong floated the idea of forming such a supra-constitutional government after post-poll signs pointed to difficulties in setting up a new government with key rival camps seemingly neck-to-neck in MP counts.

However, the idea of a national unity government is not being welcomed by most politicians. Phalang Pracharat Party’s deputy spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana dismissed the idea again yesterday, insisting there was no need because his party would eventually form the government.

Though Phalang Pracharat, with 118 MP seats, is second to Pheu Thai with 138 seats in the Lower House, Thanakorn insisted yesterday that his party would set up the government through normal means.

A national unity government was impossible and the country has yet to reach a dead end, he said, adding that everything would be settled after the election results are announced officially next month.

Meanwhile, Thepthai who brought the idea to the table iterated that the next government would be unstable if not impossible.

“We cannot keep going without a government; it will affect the national administration and international confidence,” he said, continuing to argue for a national unity government as the solution.

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