The Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday issued an “orange card” to a Pheu Thai candidate for allegedly buying votes to win a parliamentary seat in Chiang Mai province.
The EC also ordered re-election in Chiang Mai's Constituency 8. This is the first card the EC issued on a candidate since the March 24 general election.
According to unofficial EC results, Surapon Kietchaiyakorn won 52,165 votes for Chiang Mai’s Constituency 8.
Surapon, meanwhile, said he had already learned of the EC’s decision and was waiting for an official notification. He admitted that he donated Bt2,000 and wall clock to a monk at a religious event during the campaign period, something he said he has done on many occasions.
He added that the monk in question has already testified with the EC.
“I am still in good spirits. I believe this issue is politically motivated, as the EC could have given me a yellow card, which would have allowed me to re-contest. However, it issued an orange card to prevent me from contesting again,” he said in a telephone interview.
With the orange card, Surapon’s right to run in elections has been revoked for a year.
The EC made the decision on Tuesday and said it was based on reports from its branch in Chiang Mai.