Activist wants late-delivered NZ votes counted

Activist wants late-delivered NZ votes counted

Activist Srisuwan Janya calls on the Election Commission to count the 1,542 ballots cast in New Zealand, or he will ask the Constitutional Court to void the March 24 polls. (Photo from his Facebook page)
Activist Srisuwan Janya calls on the Election Commission to count the 1,542 ballots cast in New Zealand, or he will ask the Constitutional Court to void the March 24 polls. (Photo from his Facebook page)

Activist Srisuwan Janya has called on the Election Commission to count the ballots from New Zealand that were delivered late, otherwise the overall poll should be considered as void.

In Wellington, the Thai ambassador expressed disappointment over the late delivery of the 1,542 ballots from advance voting in New Zealand, which led to the votes being invalid.

Mr Srisuwan, secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Constitution, said at the Office of the Election Commission on Monday that Thai people in New Zealand had legitimately exercised their right. It was illegitimate for the EC to invalidate their ballots only because they could not be delivered to their respective electorates before the polls closed at 5pm on Sunday.

"That may lead to the conclusion that the general election on March 4 was dishonest... and that it can be considered as void," Mr Srisuwan said.

He called on the EC to consider the ballots from New Zealand as valid and to count them. Otherwise, his association would ask the Constitutional Court to void the election, Mr Srisuwan said.

Thai ambassador to New Zealand Danai Menabodhi said the embassy and volunteers had taken more than two months to prepare for advance voting, which was held from March 4-16 at the embassy in Wellington, at its mobile polling units in Auckland and Blenheim and through the mail.

In New Zealand, 1,862 people had registered for early voting and 1,542 of them cast their votes, a turnout of 82.81%, Mr Danai said.

Envelopes containing individual ballots were sorted on March 17 and were sent from Wellington as air cargo on March 18. The flight was scheduled to arrive in Thailand on March 19, he said.

Ittiporn Boonpracong, chairman of the Election Commission, said that Air New Zealand delivered the mail, which reached Thai Airways International (THAI) on March 21. On March 22 the sack was discovered and then delivered to Thailand on the night of March 23, Saturday.

When the polls closed at 5pm on Sunday, the sack was still at THAI's cargo warehouse, Mr Ittiporn said.

Learn from listening

Click play to listen to audio for this story, or download to save the file
: :

Vocabulary

  • ambassador: a senior official who lives in a foreign country and represents his or her own country there - ทูต
  • ballot: the piece of paper on which someone marks who they are voting for - บัตรเลือกตั้ง
  • cargo: things that are being sent by ship, plane, train or truck - สินค้าที่บรรทุกและจัดส่งโดยเรือ เครื่องบินหรือรถไฟ
  • disappointment: the feeling of being unhappy because something that you hoped for or expected did not happen or because someone or something was not as good as you expected - ความผิดหวัง
  • dishonest: not honest; intending to trick people - ไม่ซื่อสัตย์
  • electorate: all the people in a country or area who are allowed to vote - ผู้ที่มีสิทธิเลือกตั้งทั้งหมดในท้องที่หรือเขตหนึ่งๆ
  • exercise your rights: to use your power or rights - ใช้สิทธิ
  • illegitimate: not allowed by the rules or laws - ที่ขัดต่อกฎหมาย
  • invalid: not able to be used legally - เป็นโมฆะ
  • legitimately: being allowed by the law, or correct according to the law - ชอบด้วยกฎหมาย
  • sack: a large strong bag for storing and carrying things - กระสอบ, ถุงขนาดใหญ่
  • turnout: the number of people who come to an event or take part in an activity - ผู้ที่เข้าร่วม
  • valid: legally accepted - ชอบด้วยกฎหมาย
  • void: to end something officially or by law, to invalidate - ทำให้เป็นโมฆะ
  • warehouse: a large building for storing things - โกดังสินค้า, คลังสินค้า, โรงพัสดุ

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT