Abhisit: Phongthep fudging the law

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has accused caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Phongthep Thepkanchana of trying to manipulate the law to perpetuate the Pheu Thai party’s power.

He sarcastically thanked Mr Phongthep for citing laws which could be used to bolster the party's election nullification case.

The Democrats have applied to the Constitution Court to void the Feb 2 elections, citing Section 68 of the charter, which penalises the exercise of rights and liberties to acquire ruling power through unconstitutional means.

"I have to thank him for his efforts. They betray a struggle to seek power, even if it means wrongly interpreting the law. They will in turn add weight to the indictment filed by Virat Kallayasiri," Mr Abhisit said, referring to his party’s former Songkhla MP.

The former premier added that Mr Pongthep had himself suggested an analogy be drawn in the case.

The charter stipulates that convening of the national assembly requires at least 95% of the total number of MPs, currently 500.

Mr Abhisit said Mr Phongthep suggested if fewer than 95% of the required number were elected, the body could still be considered the national assembly, but action has to be taken to meet the required number.

Mr Phongthep also suggested new polls could be called in the 28 constituencies where there had been no candidates, saying the law which allows fresh elections in constituencies where there is only one candidate who had won less than 20% of all eligible votes could be applied, Mr Abhisit said.

These were attempts to distort the intention of the laws, Mr Abhisit said.

The government had forced the Election Commission to cnduct the polls by abusing the law, he said.

"This is an endless attempt to perpetuate power," Mr Abhisit said.

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