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EC gets complaints against Jaruvan, others

Former Auditor General Khunying Jaruvan Maintaka, an avid opponent of ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, has faced harsh criticism and electoral complaints after unofficially winning a Senate seat in Bangkok, a clear sign of the country's deeply divided political landscape.

The Election Commission (EC) has received a complaint against Jaruvan following an incident when appointed Senator Paiboon Nititawan took to the Lumpini anti-government rally stage on March 7, calling on voters to vote for Jaruwan so she could join forces with other appointed senators to uproot the Thaksin regime.

As a member of the now defunct Assets Examination Committee, Jaruvan spearheaded an investigation against the Thaksin government.

Following her senate election victory, old controversies surrounding her went viral on social media networks. References included the National Anti-Corruption Commission investigation against her for allegedly seeking a free Thai Airways ticket for a seminar in Europe for her daughter; and for her alleged reimbursement of allowances for seminars, even though the activity was a merit making in Nan.

EC member Boonsong Noisophon said the EC received nine electoral complaints, including two from Bangkok. Seven others were from Chiang Mai, Nakhon Pathom, Loei, Si Sa Ket, Samut Sakhon, Sing Buri and Nong Bua Lamphu, with each province having one complaint.

Six complaints were levelled against candidates winning the most votes in six provinces - except Chiang Mai, Nakhon Pathom and Loei, which had complaints made about other candidates.

Of the nine complaints, one about a candidate using offensive language in the election campaign has been accepted by the EC for a final decision. No decision has been made yet on whether the eight others will be taken up for EC consideration.


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