Last Friday, the Administrative Court of Thailand [official website] called off by-elections [JURIST report] scheduled for the weekend to wait for the Constitutional Court's opinion. That decision [press release, in Thai] has been appealed [Xinhua report] by the Election Commission, with the EC relying on a 2003 Constitutional Court ruling that the commission has absolute authority to manage elections. The April 2 election was called by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [official profile] three years earlier than originally scheduled in an attempt to show support against protestors who accused him of corruption and abuse of power. Thaksin's plan backfired, however, as his Thai Rak Thai [party website, in Thai] party failed to win as many votes as they had in the February 2005 election, leaving many seats empty in the Thai Parliament [official website]. Under the Thai constitution [text], parliament cannot convene until all seats are filled. Thaksin said he would step down as prime minister when parliament did meet, but his deputy prime minister said Sunday that Thaksin would not have to adhere to his comments if the court annulled the election results. Reuters has more.
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