EC files defamation suit against activists

EC files defamation suit against activists

People sign a petition seeking to impeach the poll agency chiefs in front of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre in the city. Pattarapong Chatpattarasill
People sign a petition seeking to impeach the poll agency chiefs in front of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre in the city. Pattarapong Chatpattarasill

The Election Commission (EC) has filed a defamation suit against a group of activists and websites for accusing it of "cheating" in the March 24 general election and spreading fake news about some of the commissioners.

EC chairman Ittiporn Boonpracong yesterday said the commission has told the EC's office to file a suit against a Facebook page called "Eha", a Facebook user named Jiraporn Ngam-anong, the website https://syoutaogou.com/SYO/141, and a group of activists who staged a signature-collection campaign to oust the seven election commissioners at Victory Monument last Sunday.

The activists included Sirawith "Ja New" Seritiwat, Phayaw Akkahad, and Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak.

Those named in the defamation suit used the phrase "cheating in the election" to ruin the EC's reputation and presented fake news about two of the election commissioners, Mr Ittiporn said.

Meanwhile, election commissioner Pakorn Mahannop said yesterday that final election results were being delayed by investigations into nearly 300 poll complaints, which concern prospective winners in 66 constituencies.

He was responding to ongoing criticism of the delay in announcing the results and concerns over the EC's formula for calculating the final number of House seats won by political parties.

Mr Pakorn told reporters there were nearly 300 complaints and all of them must be investigated.

The EC has also ordered recounts at two polling stations in Khon Kaen province and vote re-runs at six polling stations in five provinces, he said.

Mr Pakorn said the organic law on the election of MPs prohibited the early declaration of results in constituencies where there were complaints or where an investigation was not concluded.

The EC has only one formula to calculate the number of list-MPs from individual political parties.

However, it could not start the calculation right away, not until the complaints were settled, Mr Pakorn said.

Meanwhile, a group of activists led by Mr Sirawith still pressed ahead with their signature-collecting campaign to oust the EC outside the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre on Rama I Road yesterday.


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