EC wraps up probe in Yaowapa case

The Election Commission (EC) is expected to conclude next week a case in which former Pheu Thai MP for Chiang Mai Yaowapa Wongsawat is accused of violating election law in a by-election in Chiang Mai in April last year, commissioner Somchai Srisuttiyakon said yesterday.

Ms Yaowapa won a by-election in Chiang Mai's Constituency 3 on April 21 last year by a landslide, securing 67,101 votes against Democrat contender Kingkan Na Chiang Mai's 21,372.

Ms Yaowapa, the younger sister of Thaksin Shinawatra and older sister of current caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, made her return to parliament after being banned from politics for five years.

She was among 111 executives of the disbanded Thai Rak Thai Party who were suspended from politics for electoral fraud in 2006.

The by-election followed the resignation of Pheu Thai's Kasem Nimmonrat, who cited health problems.

Political observers believed Pheu Thai was grooming Ms Yaowapa as a potential candidate for prime minister should Ms Yingluck be disqualified for any reason.

Mr Somchai said Ms Yaowapa is accused of violating election laws by arranging for voters to be transported to advance voting on April 12 at polling stations in San Kamphaeng and Doi Saket districts.

Mr Somchai said if Ms Yaowapa is found to have committed wrongdoing, she could be red-carded, banned from politics for 10 years and face criminal charges.

In this case, no yellow card will be issued because the House is now dissolved and there will be no by-election. Those issued yellow cards are still allowed to compete in by-elections but those given red cards cannot participate.

He said an EC inquiry had finished its probe and the commissioners are expected to announce their findings next week. Mr Somchai also said the EC will today ask the prime minister's secretary-general Suranand Vejjajiva to testify over a case in which Ms Yingluck is accused of using state resources to campaign for votes.

He said the EC has received complaints that Ms Yingluck used state resources to drum up votes for her party during her inspection tours of areas in the North and the Northeast following the House dissolution on Dec 9, which paved the way for the Feb 2 general election.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 26/02/2014 at 10:42 AM
The rotten apple doesnt fall from from the rotten tree .
Discussion 2 : 26/02/2014 at 10:35 AM
You are quite happy when any commission votes for you and vetoes the Dems. You can't have it all ways
Discussion 3 : 26/02/2014 at 08:58 AM
Has Suthep ???
Discussion 4 : 26/02/2014 at 08:54 AM
Ah, OK. Will read the soccer rules to figure the system.
Discussion 5 : 26/02/2014 at 08:47 AM
sounds the same story as always PTP law & Thai law not the same
Discussion 6 : 26/02/2014 at 08:04 AM
The EC has plenty of time, dedication, and motivation to pursue PT candidates, but fall short in their main duty of completing the national election. Seem to be yet another "independent" agency with an activist agenda.
Discussion 7 : 26/02/2014 at 06:31 AM
Theses agencies are only yellow shirt proxies - get rid of them.
Discussion 8 : 26/02/2014 at 03:12 AM
Have ever PTP or Thaksin done some lawfull things?NOPE!
Discussion 9 : 26/02/2014 at 02:49 AM
Did I read correctly - April last year - and the EC is ready now 10 months later?? Get rid of this commission; they only prove that there is not one single task they are able to fulfill whatever time they have and that they are completely biased where the constitution says it should be a neutral body. Indirectly they say had we worked correctly and proven a possible misconduct in time, it had been a yellow card; but now after we intentionally messed it up, it will be a red card.

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