Rigging claim hits Senate poll

Rigging claim hits Senate poll
Rigging claim hits Senate poll
Election Commission chairman Ittiporn Boonpracong ( photo: Office of the Election Commission )

The Election Commission (EC ) pledged to investigate a claim made by caretaker senator Somchai Swangkarn that up to 149 republic election candidates have already been declared winners at the city and provincial rates ahead of the upcoming election of 200 new lawmakers on Monday, saying that if the alleged collusion to control the election results is proven to be true all events found guilty may face immediate legal actions.

The senate vote is taking place at district, provincial and national rates on June 9, 16 and 26, both. Candidates who pass the city and municipal stages will cast their ballots in the last, national-level vote.

EC president Ittiporn Boonpracong&nbsp, said the EC was looking into Mr Somchai’s say that a list of 149 winning individuals was recently published on Twitter. He continued, adding that because he had never heard of such a record before, he personally thought it was unlikely to be accurate.

When asked if the senator would therefore be subject to legal action if it is later determined that the claim was unfounded, Mr. Ittiporn replied that he could n’t respond right away because the EC typically meets formal before making a recommendation for action.

All Mr. Ittiporn could say at this time was that the EC did strictly adhere to the rules governing Senate elections, and that the Supreme Court will be in charge of all cases involving suspected inadmissibility of any special candidates.

Mr. Somchai made what he claimed to be a list of candidates who now know they would win at the district and provincial levels on Sunday.

The candidates ‘ first and last names, the number of their professional organizations, and the regions where they are running for top house seats were all used to identify the 149 candidates.

Additionally, Mr. Somchai threatened to file a lawsuit against all those responsible for collaboration, including a number of officials who hired these candidates to run in the Senate vote as part of a plot to rig the results.

Mr. Somchai urged the EC to expedite its analysis and use the latest Nakhon Si Thammarat case as a case study to further its investigation to find the mastermind responsible for all this.

The conduct of colluding to influence the Senate vote could lead to a sentence of one to ten years in prison and the loss of social rights for the following 20 years, according to Mr. Somchai.

Tewarit Maneechai, a candidate for the media job party in the vote, insisted that the accusation had no connection to any collusion and that the accusation was now hurting him.

102 Senate candidates were disqualified on Sunday, according to a source who spoke with the municipal EC in Nakhon Si Thammarat while the investigation was being continued into many others.

One female member, named Uthai, who was disqualified for failing to have the required skills, confessed that he was hired to work in this poll.

The person, who typically works as a gardener, expressed regret over accepting the outlawed provide because he realized he may face legal action.

Mr. Somchais advised the EC to then look into the details of its investigation.

According to a source who has seen Mr. Sawang sending a message to all EC officials on the Line messaging app, EC Secretary-general Sawang Boonmee pledged support to all officials at statewide offices if they face mounting pressure from those who are trying to undermine the Senate election.

Another source, meanwhile, revealed that the Senate’s committee on independent organisations had invited the EC secretary- general to a meeting on Thursday to discuss public concerns, including the allegations of collusion.

Meanwhile, Senator Kasidit Archvakhun, spokesman for the Senate committee, said the Nakhon Si Thammarat case was just the tip of the iceberg, and he was ready to supply the EC with secret information about widespread collusion to manipulate the results.