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FTI chairman-hopeful's legal team goes to court over election of selection panel

AN INTERNAL conflict regarding the election of a new chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has continued, as a legal team supporting Visit Limprana, one of the two candidates, has filed a petition to the Central Administrative Court to nullify the result of the election for the chairman selection committee.

The election for the selection committee on March 17 was marred by allegations of irregularities.

Supan Mongkolsuthee, president of Synnex (Thailand), and Visit, chairman of the federation's Food Processing Club, have been competing to succeed FTI chairman Payungsak Chartsutipol, who will step down next month. Then the selection committee, which consists of 232 elected commissioners and 116 appointed ones, will elect the new chairman on April 8.

The March 17 election of the committee put Supan in a favoured position because the majority of the 232 elected commissioners are his supporters. But allegations of irregularities have led Visit's legal team to challenge the result of the election.

The legal team has filed a petition to annul the election, claiming that the process was not transparent because there was no central ballot booth. It also alleges that non-eligible members had |cast ballots in place of eligible persons.

"We are filing the petition to the court first, and we will have to wait for one week to see whether the court will accept it," said lawyer Teerawut Prakaisantisuk, a member of Visit's supporting team.

However, despite the claim of irregularities, Vallop Vitanakorn, vice chairman of the FTI and member of Supan's support group, said next month's election for chairman would continue. He argued that the FTI election process was as transparent as it has been for the past 10 years.

"We have to stick to our regulations that have been practised for 10 years, and the latest election was in accord with all the regulations," he said.

He said the reason there was no central ballot booth was that there had never been on in any previous elections, including those that had been organised by members of the rival team.

"The election was transparent, and I urged Visit's supporting team to stop the allegations, because Visit has already congratulated Suphan," Vallop said. "Suphan wanted reconciliation and he has maintained that he wanted to work with Visit in order to continue with the development of the FTI."


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