Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Judgement day awaits Abhisit and Yingluck

Abhisit: Faces votebuying allegation

The fate of Pheu Thai's likely prime ministerial candidate Yingluck Shinawatra and outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva will be known today as the Election Commission is scheduled to consider complaints against them.
Yingluck: Accused of illegal help
The election body also is prepared to endorse a second batch of MPs-elect.
EC commissioner Somchai Juengprasert yesterday said the complaints against the winning candidates to be heard today involve those concerning Mr Abhisit, Ms Yingluck and some red-shirt leaders who contested under the Pheu Thai's party-list system.
Mr Abhisit is accused of vote buying when he approved a "Blue Flag" trade fair in Samut Prakan on June 26, the advance voting day.
Ms Yingluck faces complaints that she allowed certain banned politicians to assist her in the election campaign.
Mr Somchai said that it depended on the evidence whether the winners would be cleared of the allegations against them and endorsed as MPs.
He also denied that the EC had come under pressure to suspend the endorsement of Ms Yingluck's MP status, insisting the outcome depended on the gravity of the evidence.
The commissioner expected the EC to be able to endorse at least 475 MPs, or 95% of the overall 500, within 30 days of the July 3 election so the House can convene its first meeting.
He said that endorsed MPs could still be disqualified later if they were found to have violated election regulations.
The EC has so far given its blessing to 358 successful election candidates.
EDITORIAL: EC must act against petty complaints
Mr Somchai said it was up to the EC to decide if they would accept further complaints against election winners for consideration after today.
An anti-corruption network yesterday submitted more evidence to back up its complaints against Ms Yingluck.
The evidence included photos of former prime minister Somchai Wongsawat joining her on the campaign trail and Pheu Thai's campaign slogan "Thaksin Thinks, Pheu Thai acts".
Meanwhile, a Pheu Thai committee tasked with drafting its policy statement yesterday reportedly discussed growing pressure for the party to honour its campaign promises.
Pheu Thai MP for Phrae Worawat Ua-apinyakul said yesterday the party should be given some time to lay down a structural framework to allow for effective policy implementation.
"I'd like to ask the public to wait for the big picture instead of focusing on the minimum wage of 300 baht only. Don't look at just a single policy," Mr Worawat said.
He also said the Pheu Thai-led government's policies would be implemented after the 2012 fiscal budget takes effect.
The budget, which has yet to be prepared, is likely to be passed by parliament early next year.

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