Probe sought on EC pre-election trips

Probe sought on EC pre-election trips

Activist Srisuwan Janya speaks to reporters at the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission in Bangkok on Friday. (Photo from his Facebook page)
Activist Srisuwan Janya speaks to reporters at the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission in Bangkok on Friday. (Photo from his Facebook page)

Activist Srisuwan Janya on Friday asked the National Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate election commissioners for their 12-million-baht expenditure on overseas trips two weeks before the election.

In his complaint, Mr Srisuwan said the EC commissioners failed to hold meetings to consider important issues from Feb 27 to March 10 because they are on overseas trips to observe overseas voting preparations.

He said the EC should have been supervising the organisation of the polls at home and looking into several complaints about possible violations of electoral and political party laws.

Dismissing explanations from the EC's office, the activist said the commissioners were visiting major tourist destinations like Britain, Germany, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States but omitted Australia, China and Malaysia.

He said the EC should have let Thai embassies supervise the organisation of the poll in their respective countries because the EC already gave them the authority.

Mr Srisuwan also complained that the 12-million-baht expenditure for the trips was too high.

He questioned whether the commissioners violated the EC law, which requires them to be dedicated to their duties and the law on the ethics of members of independent organisations, which calls on them to prioritise public interest.

Overseas voting is from March 4-16. The Foreign Ministry reported earlier some 120,000 Thais had registered to vote, led by those in Sydney. They can cast the ballot at polling stations or mobile units prepared by embassies, or vote by mail.

Media reported on Tuesday the commissioners would not meet to discuss major issues this week. All seven of them were on trips to observe preparations for overseas voting from Feb 27 until Sunday. Two each were in Britain and the US. Another two were on a trip to Germany and Switzerland while EC president Ittiporn Boonpracong was scheduled to go to Singapore this weekend. 

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