THE PHEU THAI Party will go to court today to protect the right of its 29 southern candidates to contest the February 2 election after authorities refused to extend the registration period.
The 29 hopefuls were prevented from registering in eight southern provinces before the last day on January 1 due to protests by supporters of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee.
Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said the 29 candidates would assign their lawyers to seek an injunction at the Supreme Administrative Court at 10am today, citing the MPs and Senators Election Act and the Administrative Court Act.
If the balloting in the eight provinces cannot be held on February 2 along with the other provinces, it might violate the charter requirement for all constituency polls to be held on the same day, he said.
Pichit Chuenbarn, a Pheu Thai party-list candidate and legal expert, said the party and the 29 candidates had already done their part by trying to file their applications as required by law, but the Election Commission had failed to make the necessary arrangements.
The EC should have changed venues so that the 29 candidates could have submitted their applications but the EC would not heed the government’s advice, he said.
If the Supreme Administrative Court rejects the petition, Pheu Thai would pursue other legal channels.
“We will fight in all courts to defend the rights of our candidates,” he said.
Thanawut Wichaidith, a Pheu Thai candidate for Surat Thani, said the EC and its provincial committees in the southern provinces were not taking their jobs seriously to successfully organise candidacy sign-ups.
PDRC secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban should stop acting like a political hooligan now, he added.