Probe of Bangkok election complaints to be complete in 15 days: EC
The investigation of complaints related to the March 3 gubernatorial election is expected to be finished within 15 days and is delaying the endorsement of Sukhumbhand Paribatra as Bangkok's re-elected governor.Pol Lt Gen Thaweesak Tuchinda, chairman of the Bangkok election commission, said the EC could not endorse Sukhumbhand’s victory as there are two complaints filed against him.
He said Bangkok’s EC had accepted the complaints, one from a voter and another from a gubernatorial candidate, and was proceeding with the investigation and collecting evidence.
The two complaints allege slander during the election campaign but Thaweesak said he could not reveal details information until after the Bangkok election commission meets this afternoon to discuss the cases.
Sukhumbhand, who was contesting the Bangkok gubernatorial election under the Democrat banner, defeated his major rival from the government's Pheu Thai Party, Pongsapat Pongcharoen, by a substantial majority on March 3.
Democrat MP Boonyod Sukthinthai on Thursday urged the EC to speed up the investigation.
He also asked the poll agency to apply the same standard as two years ago when he filed a similar complaint with the commission accusing Red Shirt leader Natthawut Saikua of slandering the Democrat Party during the 2011 election campaign. The EC ruled that the action was not unlawful as it was a personal opinion.
EC secretary general Puchong Nutrawong earlier announced that the EC meeting had voted three to one to withhold Mr Sukhumbhand’s endorsement to enable committee members to look into complaints charging Sukhumbhand with breach of the Election Law.
If the investigation is not finished within 30 days, the EC will allow the governor-elect to assume the post while the probe continues, he said.