All MPs-elect endorsed, fraud probes continue
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All MPs-elect endorsed, fraud probes continue

An election official shows a ballot during vote counting in Bangkok after the general election on May 14. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
An election official shows a ballot during vote counting in Bangkok after the general election on May 14. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The Election Commission on Monday endorsed all 400 constituency MPs-elect and 100 party-list MPs-elect, and reserved its right to investigate electoral fraud involving any of them within a year.

EC secretary-general Sawaeng Boonmee said newly elected MPs could report at the parliament from Tuesday to Saturday.

He said that although the EC endorsed the newly elected MPs, it reserved its right to investigate any electoral fraud allegation within one year, as allowed by the election law.

During this period, the EC could ask the Supreme Court to nullify electoral and candidacy rights of anyone it deemed to have cheated in the May 14 general election.

The EC could not conclude its investigation into electoral fraud allegations within 60 days after the election, or within July 13, when the law required it to endorse election results. The EC would take time to ensure justice in its investigations, Mr Sawaeng said.

Reporters asked Mr Sawaeng about the EC's stance on the allegation that Pita Limjaroenrat, leader and prime ministerial candidate of the election-winning Move Forward Party, should be banned from the election under the provisions of the Constitution for holding shares in iTV Plc.

Mr Sawaeng said the inquiry committee of the office of the EC had yet to conclude its investigation in Mr Pita's case.

The constitution prohibits any shareholder of a media organisation from running in a general election.

Asked if the EC could make its decision on Mr Pita before the parliament's vote for the new prime minister, Mr Sawaeng said the EC did not care about the political angle, but prioritised its complete consideration of all relevant facts.

Earlier it was reported that there were allegations against 71 MPs-elect in 37 constituencies.

By law, within 15 days of the EC's endorsement of the new MPs, the parliament must convene to vote for the House speaker, and the process of voting for the new prime minister and the establishment of the new government will follow.

The new parliament is therefore now expected to convene by July 3.

According to the endorsed vote results, the Move Forward Party won the most House seats, 151, followed by the Pheu Thai Party (141), Bhumjaithai (71), Palang Pracharath (40), United Thai Nation (36), Democrat (25) and Chartthaipattana (10).

Sawaeng Boonmee, secretary-general of the Election Commission, announces the EC's endorsement of all 500 MPs-elect on Monday. (Photo supplied)

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