Sunday, January 06, 2008

Judges named just two days before ruling whether PPP a nominee

Judges named just two days before ruling whether PPP a nominee

The Supreme Court will withold the names of three presiding judges for each of the electionrelated cases until two days before the commencing of the hearing, judge Wirat Chinwinijkul said on Friday.

"All 50 judges of the high court are on the roster of presiding judges but they will be picked by Supreme Court president Virat Limvichai just two days before the hearing," he said.

Wirat explained the judicial procedures in light of a high profile hearing scheduled for January 15 in which the People Power Party is accused of being the nominee of the disbanded Thai Rak Thai Party and its leader Samak Sundaravej is a proxy.

Should the court rule to penalise the winning party, this can lead to the cancellation of victory and a massive revote.

The litigation has been initiated by Democrat candidate Chaiwat Sinsuwong and the People Power is entitled to submit its defence rebuttals within a sevenday deadline which falls on January 14.

The Nation

Surayud delays a press tour of Khao Yai Thaing home

Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont on Friday postponed a January 11 press tour planned for the Government House reporters to visit his vacation home in Nakhon Ratchasima.

Surayud cited the mourning period for HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana as reason for the postponement.

In planning the trip, he wanted the local press to see the actual site of Khao Yai Thiang, the location of his home under the attack for overlapping with a national reserve.

The Nation

No conspiracy against PPP: Prapun

Election Commission member Prapun Naigowit on Friday said there was no conspiracy to investigate the balloting results of 65 MPselect from the People Power Party and that the EC did not act under pressure from the junta.

"The review of electoral fraud will proceed based on evidence and the witholding of endorsement is due to the disputed results pending investigation," he said.

The EC did not target the People Power as alleged, he said, adding that the high number of disputes involving the People Power reflected its big win of 233 House seats.

For any disqualifications by red and yellow cards, the revote would complete by January 20 in order to facilitate the convening of Parliament on January 22, he said.

The EC is confident that it could resolve electoral fraud cases and conclude the endorsement of outcome within the 30day deadline, he said.

The Nation

Martial law not warranted in Buri Ram: Surayud

Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont on Friday ruled out the speculation that the government might declare the enforcement of martial law in Buri Ram in light of protests against the issuing of red cards against three People Power candidates.

"Interior officials have already explained the situation leading to the red cards and reached an understanding with protesters," he said, noting that the crowds had dispersed.

Surayud said authorities stepped up measures for the protection of electoral officials in the northeastern province and that the situation was under control.

The Nation

PPP confident its 65 MPs-elect not to be red-carded

The People Power Party will assist its 65 MPs-elect to rebut charges relating to electoral fraud in order to pave way for the endorsement of balloting results, party secretary general Surapong Suebwonglee said on Friday.

"The party is not worrying about the large number of results being investigated by the Election Commission because it is confident that its MPs-elect did not involve in any wrongdoing to be penalised by red cards," he said.

"The only surprise I have is that the number of 65 disputed results is so close to the prediction made by Democrat Party secretary general Suthep Thuagsuban," he added.

The Nation

MPs-elect start to receive certificates of outcome

Two MPs-elect were among the first to arrive at the Election Commission headquarters on Friday's morning to receive the certificates of their balloting results before proceeding to report for duties at Parliament.

The two are Democrat Party's Pramuan Aimpia from Chon Buri's constituency 1 and People Power Party-list's Kittisak Hatthasongkroh from Zone 3 covering the Northeast.

The EC endorsed the outcome for 397 MPs-elect on Thursday. It set aside the results of 83 winning candidates, including 65 from the People Power, for probes on electoral fraud.

The MPs-elect can report for duties anytime at the House Secretariat building between today and the convening of the new House, scheduled for January 22.

They need to submit the certificate of the EC-endorsed outcome, a copy of identification card, a copy of house registration, a copy of marriage certificate as proof of maritial status, a copy of education credentials, six one-inch pictures, 12 two-inch pictures, and a dozen of three-inch pictures.

The Nation

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