Thammarak jailed for election fraud

Thammarak jailed for election fraud

Gen Thammarak Issarangkura na Ayuthaya, a former deputy leader of the dissolved Thai Rak Thai Party, was on Wednesday sentenced by the Criminal Court to three years and four months in jail for electoral fraud.

Gen Thammarat Issarangkura na Ayuthaya (Photo by Surapol Promsaka na Sakolnakorn)

Gen Thammarak was convicted of paying an Election Commission official to tamper with the EC's database to enable members of the Pattana Chart Thai Party to run in the April 2, 2006 election. This happened between March 2-7, 2006,

The Pattana Chart Thai Party members, in fact, were not eligible to run in the election because they had been party members for less than the 90 days legal requirement.

The prosecution told the court that Gen Thammarak and three other defendants paid Amornwit Suwanpa, the EC official who is also a defendant, 30,000 baht to tamper with the database.

Their motives were to field the Pattana Chart Thai candidates to help TRT avoid a requirement that it must gain at least 20% of eligible votes in a constituency if only one candidate stands in that constituency, because that election was boycotted by the Democrat Party.

The April 2, 2006 election was later nullified, leading to the later  dissolution of the Thai Rak Thai Party by the Constitution Court.

The Criminal Court today found the five defendants guilty as charged.

It sentenced Gen Thammarak and three other co-defendants to three years and four months imprisonment, and Amornwit, the EC official, to five years in jail, all without suspension of sentence.

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