EC stands firm on ex-MP's ban
The Election Commission (EC) has refused to consider reinstating MP status for a Pheu Thai MP-elect who it disqualified for violating the election law.
The Supreme Court's Election Division on Tuesday threw out a poll fraud case against Pheu Thai candidate Surapol Kietchaiyakorn, who demanded the EC take responsibility for the mistake. Mr Surapol's lawyer said he would also sue the EC for 70 million baht in damages for wrongfully disqualifying him.
However, the EC insisted it did not wrongfully disqualify the politician.
"The petition to the court was asking the court to consider banning him from running in an election [for 10 years]," EC secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma said.
"The court saw him [violating the election law] without an intention, which is not in line with the EC's opinion. But all the investigation processes were legitimate, and the court also agreed with the EC's decision to give the orange card.
"For the EC's part, the ban or the orange card for one year has passed already. The MP's status will not be restored as the law says the EC's decision is absolute."
Mr Surapol, an eight-time MP for Chiang Mai, retained his seat with 52,165 votes in last year's general election but was later disqualified by the EC, which said he had breached the election law by giving 2,000 baht and a clock to a monk.