Friday, July 22, 2011

EC gives green light for 6 reds to be MPs

The Election Commission has endorsed 32 more MPs-elect, including six red shirt leaders who contested the July 3 poll under the Pheu Thai banner.
Red shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan is surrounded by supporters yesterday as he arrives at the Criminal Court on RatchadaphisekRoad to testify in a defamation case he filed against Democrat PartyMPelect Watchara Phetthong,who accused him of following the orders of deposed premier Thaksin Shinawatra. SURAPOLPROMSAKANA SAKOLNAKORN
This was the third batch of MPs to be approved in the nearly three weeks since the election. But including the 32, the EC has still only certified the status of 402 MPs _ 285 constituency seats and 117 party-list MPs.
The EC must endorse 95% (475) of 500 MPs within 30 calendar days of the election for the House to convene its first meeting.
The six red shirt MPs-elect who were endorsed yesterday were Dr Weng Tojirakan, Col Apiwan Wiriyachai, Wiputhalang Pattanapoomthai, Pichit Chuenban, Wichean Khaokham and Korkaew Pikulthong.
Other red shirt election winners who have not yet been certified include Jatuporn Prompan, Natthawut Saikua, Payap Panket, Jarupan Kuldiloke and Karun Hosakul.
The EC was still unable to endorse all the red shirt leaders yesterday as MPs because it had not finished considering whether they were qualified.
However, Sodsri Satayathum, an EC commissioner, said the EC was able to endorse the first six because they had not lost their right to become MPs. They had all gone to vote on the day of the election.
In addition, Ms Sodsri said they were able to provide the EC with evidence that they had reapplied to be members of the Pheu Thai Party after they were released from jail.
According to the EC, the red shirt MPs-elect face complaints that they do not meet the party's membership qualifications after some of them were arrested for alleged involvement in last year's political violence.
The Pheu Thai Party's Regulation 10 states that people who have been arrested and imprisoned will be stripped of their membership.
But the regulation was later amended. A clause banning a person being detained from applying for party membership has been deleted. The EC acknowledged the change and announced the amended rule in the Royal Gazette on Nov 18, 2010.
The EC is expected to endorse more MPs-elect today.
Would-be prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday asked red shirt leaders not to put pressure on the Election Commission to endorse MPs-elect.
Her call came after United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship leaders warned their patience might run out if the agency fails to endorse 12 red shirt MPs-elect within the 30-day limit.
"I'd like to ask all parties to wait for the EC's review. There are still several MPs-elect who are awaiting endorsement," she said.
She said she believed the EC would ensure fairness to all and to do so it should be allowed to work free of any pressure.
Ms Yingluck allayed fears the red shirts would mobilise supporters onto the streets, saying this was unlikely.
"The country needs to move forward. We all want to look to the future. We should be focusing on that," she said.
She also said that she would help party candidates who were issued yellow cards to campaign in re-elections scheduled for July 31 if she had time.

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