EC to probe Yingluck trips

The Election Commission (EC) is taking action against official upcountry trips by caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, maintaining they jeopardise the fairness of the ongoing election.

Election Commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said the EC was calling in government officials involved in Ms Yingluck’s trips to the northern and northeastern provinces as it has allegedly received complaints of government resources being abused.

Mr Somchai said parties concerned had to carefully consider any exploitation of government resources during the issuance of a royal decree on elections.

The putting up of posters in support of a certain party at the end of such a trip could indicate government resources were being exploited and this could affect the election, he said.

The commissioner also noted the royal decree on the Feb 2 election remains in effect.

Mr Somchai said the EC has sought details of Ms Yingluck's upcountry visits from government officials on three occasions, but the officials failed to respond.

The EC will summon the officials to give information, he said.

Ms Yingluck yesterday visited a One-Tambon-One Product (Otop) complex in tambon Phu Khae sub-district of Chalerm Prakiat district in Saraburi.

Ten protesters showed up on two pickups and through loudspeakers accused Ms Yingluck of having a role in recent attacks at anti-government demonstration venues in Bangkok and Trat.

Local authorities protected Ms Yingluck from the protesters.

Pol Col Phubal Thapjan, deputy chief of Saraburi police, said a company of police officers was guarding the caretaker prime minister while other officers asked demonstrators to continue their protests peacefully.

He said police already knew who the protesters were.

Meanwhile, AM Monthol Satchukorn, an Air Force spokesman, said Ms Yingluck will attend a meeting of the Defence Council at the Royal Thai Air Force headquarters in Don Muang district, Bangkok, at 2pm on Tuesday.

If demonstrators show up, air force officers will prohibit them from entering the headquarters because it is a secure compound.

AM Monthol said air force chief ACM Prajin Jantong had ordered his subordinates to monitor the situation closely.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 25/02/2014 at 10:40 PM
If she would go to the South you would have a point. But in the North East elections already took place on Feb 02.
Discussion 2 : 25/02/2014 at 07:24 PM
@banmebkk live in the real world, even in the biggest democracies elections are never clean and fair. There will always be complaints about rigged or voter buy out. It is the job of the election commission to conduct a clean and fair election. Once the election is declared valid by EC it is legal. Opposition will have to try to win next time.
Discussion 3 : 25/02/2014 at 10:55 AM
As mentioned hundred of times:what is the use of elections without reforms?
Discussion 4 : 25/02/2014 at 10:46 AM
This is electioneering on tax payers money
Discussion 5 : 25/02/2014 at 09:59 AM
how do we move forward when the candidate of the election has broken the law?
Discussion 6 : 25/02/2014 at 09:44 AM
Yingluck is the one actually getting ridiculous and petty .There are people dieing all over the country in the south in the protest and all she can do is hide and pretend it isnt happening .
Discussion 7 : 25/02/2014 at 09:42 AM
The police already know who the protesters are, who the shooters are and who the grenade throwers are.
Discussion 8 : 25/02/2014 at 09:26 AM
Actually she should be working on how the rice farmers are going to be paid, being she is the Chairwoman of the Rice Pledging Committee.
Discussion 9 : 25/02/2014 at 08:35 AM
EC should instead focus on completion of the elections, so that the country can move forward.
Discussion 10 : 25/02/2014 at 07:37 AM
it just keeps getting better and better for YS, isn't it? at this rate she will be probed endlessly in ways she never imagined for years and years to come. ouch!
Discussion 11 : 25/02/2014 at 07:33 AM
The EC is just getting ridiculous and petty now.
Discussion 12 : 25/02/2014 at 07:26 AM
The Pheu Thai Party made an enemy out of the Election Commission and this is the result.
Discussion 13 : 25/02/2014 at 07:24 AM
“Pol Col Phubal Thapjan, deputy chief of Saraburi police [] said police already knew who the protesters were.” That is typical red-tinted police. They know already the ten protesters who blew whistles – but they are unable to find and arrest people who kill little children. It shows their priorities – disgusting!
Discussion 14 : 25/02/2014 at 07:20 AM
Ongoing election!? The EC is refusing to do their job and hold an election.
Discussion 15 : 25/02/2014 at 06:18 AM
These trips do seem to be a sneaky way to canvass for votes. The PM should be in Bangkok dealing with the problems as the country's leader. The emphasis here is on the word "leader".

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