Another installment of electoral imagination: imagine this time that the Election Commission pro-actively vet winners of the elections to clear them of irregularities and frauds in Malaysia! The Thai’s EC do it regularly and in one past election the powerful and dutiful Thai EC nullified 40 out of 500 winners in a national poll(8%)! If the EC here does its job well may be we would see more than 8% of our candidates rejected!Imagine that as a deterrent against the candidates who now violate the laws with impunity!!!!!
Thai poll body gives go-ahead for parliament to sit
The first task for the parliament is to call a special session to select a speaker, expected early next week.
The Puea Thai Party, which won the election in a landlide, said today it expected parliament to hold a vote on who would be prime minister eight or nine days after the opening house session, and the new government to start work by the end of the month.
If all goes as expected, Yingluck Shinawatra, a sister of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, will become Thailand’s first female prime minister after Puea Thai’s victory.
Puea Thai has already agreed with five small parties to set up a coalition government that will have the backing of 300 of the 500 lawmakers, guaranteeing Yingluck’s smooth passage to office in a parliamentary vote.
The EC today endorsed four Puea Thai candidates who are also leaders of the “red shirt” protest movement, dismissing complaints about their role in bloody demonstrations and rioting in Bangkok last year.
However, Jatuporn Prompan, a prominent leader of United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), as the group is formally known, is still awaiting certification.
Jatuporn’s candidacy has been challenged since he is in prison, charged with insulting Thailand’s revered monarchy. His many opponents say his incarceration means he is ineligible to be a Puea Thai Party list candidate, a claim his lawyers reject.
Yingluck’s brother, Thaksin, who lives in Dubai to avoid a two-year prison sentence for graft, is the figurehead of the UDD, which shut down parts of central Bangkok for nine weeks last year in mass protests. A total of 91 people were killed, at least 1,800 wounded and some 30 buildings were set on fire.
Puea Thai’s decision to field UDD leaders in the election was controversial and the EC has so far approved 11 top members of the movement as lawmakers.
While the UDD has large support and played a pivotal role in Yingluck’s victory, the red shirts are hated by many middle class Thais, who dismiss them as uneducated thugs hired by Thaksin to help him wrest back power after his overthrow by the military in 2006.
Yingluck, 44, is under pressure to grant Cabinet portfolios to some red shirt leaders as a reward for their support, but that could dent the new government’s image before it starts work.
She also has to come good on a long list of populist policies that many economists say are reckless and could cause a sharp rise in inflation and government debt.
Three other parliamentary seats will be decided on Sunday. By-elections will held in two constituencies where winners were found to have committed irregularities, while a recount will be undertaken in one other ward in southern Yala province. – Reuters