Thailand courts nix proposed poll date, repeat call for election commission to quit

[JURIST] Judges from Thailand's Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, and Administrative Court [official websites] on Tuesday rejected the October 22 date set by the Election Commission [official website] for new parliamentary elections and again demanded that the Commission resign [JURIST report] after organizing last month's failed parliamentary elections [BBC report]. One justice said the recent Commission meeting where the October date was proposed was illegal because only three of the five commissioners were present, as one has resigned and another has died.

While the courts do not have the power to forcibly remove the commissioners from office, they have taken a more proactive role [JURIST report] in these elections than ever before, at the request of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej [official profile]. The constitutional court annulled [JURIST report] the results of the April election after finding the Election Commission unconstitutionally organized the elections too soon after Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [official website] dismissed parliament, leaving candidates with little time to prepare campaigns. The court also found that the voting booths did not afford enough privacy to voters. After Thaksin and the election commission arranged for the elections to be scheduled three years earlier than previously anticipated, the opposition party boycotted the polls and asked voters to cast protest votes. AFP has more.



 

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