Can the Election Commission enforce the law?

Just yesterday we noted that the dictatorship’s Palang Pracharath Party’s flagrant flouting of the junta’s own electoral law is simply ignored by the puppet Electoral Commission.

The Bangkok Post reports that a “former Pheu Thai MP has asked the Election Commission to scrap the application of Palang Pracharat Party on the ground its founders might have been offering cash and non-cash benefits to poach politicians of other parties and using state resources to finance the group’s policies.”

Suchart Lai-namngern, an ex-Lop Buri MP, “also asked the EC to launch an investigation into two deputy prime ministers – Prawit Wongsuwon and Somkid Jatusripitak, as well as Industry minister Uttama Savanayana, Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong and the group known as the Three Allies, who might have collaborated in activities in breach of the constitution and the Political Parties Act.”

Also cited was “Section 169 (4) of the [junta’s] charter which prohibits cabinet ministers from using state resources in any activity that may affect a poll…”. That refers to Gen Prawit and Somkid.

It was added: “There have been reports Mr Somkid used Government House to draft Palang Pracharat party’s policies. He also met some former politicians at InterContinental Bangkok Hotel on May 11 to lure them to join the party by offering benefits in exchange.”

The best that the puppet EC could do was send out a statement by its deputy secretary general Sawang Boonmee “saying the EC was closely monitoring activities of politicians and gathering evidence.”

As the Post report says, the statement “did not refer to any specific activities…”, quite unlike its response to claims that Thaksin Shinawatra was violating the same laws. Then, EC secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma seemed to have the investigation into Puea Thai finished as soon as it had begun. He was quoted as saying he “expects it will take two weeks to establish whether a video call made by ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra to Pheu Thai Party members likely broke the law on political parties…”.

In any case, the Post considered that statement to really be about “a [virtual] meeting between some former Pheu Thai MPs and former party leader Thaksin Shinawatra, not to the Palang Pracharat group’s activities.”

Another Bangkok Post report makes it clear that Palang Pracharat “is a vehicle for securing Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s return as prime minister after the next election…” whenever the junta decides to hold it.

In response to these calls, Deputy Dictator Gen Prawit resorted to further lies. He “denied the regime was biased in favour of Sam Mitr [the three traitors] by not acting against the group for organising a political gathering last week in Pathum Thani to announce it was joining the Palang Pracharat Party.”

He did not seem to comment on how his fellow ministers were breaking the junta’s own laws.

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