Thai Election Commission Fails to Certify Yingluck’s Election

Posted July 13th, 2011 at 12:05 am (UTC-5)
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Thailand's election commission has thrown up an obstacle on Yingluck Shinawatra's path to becoming the nation's first female prime minister.

Ms. Yingluck was among 142 of the 500 winning candidates in this month's election whose victories were not certified by the commission late Tuesday because of complaints of fraud or other issues. Outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's re-election to parliament also was not certified because of complaints about vote-buying.

The commission did not specify the complaints against Ms. Yingluck, whose Pheu Thai party won an outright majority with 265 seats and plans to rule in a coalition with several smaller parties. The supervisory body must now review her case and those of the other remaining candidates.

The commission is required to endorse at least 475 of the 500 candidates in time for the new parliament to begin its work in early August.

Any candidates whose election is not ultimately certified will have their cases referred to the Constitution Court for a decision on whether they should be disqualified. But in the past, the election commission has never failed to certify top party-list candidates.

The commission has already cleared Ms. Yingluck on a charge that she tried to buy votes by cooking noodles and distributing them to voters during a campaign appearance. She is the younger sister of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was overthrown in a 2006 coup and now lives in exile to avoid a conviction on corruption charges.