PDRC acquitted of disrupting Feb 2 election
published : 10 Jul 2015 at 18:37
writer: Online Reporters
The Criminal Court has dismissed a case in which a number of People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) protesters were accused of obstructing the Feb 2, 2014 election.
Public prosecutors filed the charge against the PDRC members who had surrounded Bangkok's Din Daeng district office on the election date. They successfully prevented officials from bringing ballots to the district's 175 election units.
The result was all units were closed and no voters in the district could exercise their right on that day.
The court ruled on Friday the PDRC demonstration was legitimate based on a judgement by the Constitutional Court.
The protest at the district office was also peaceful and unarmed. Besides, there was no proof all the suspects padlocked the gate of the office as accused by the prosecutors, the court said.
Viroj Poomsirisawat, a defence lawyer, said the case had been widely watched because it could set precedent for several other cases of the same charge.
The Constitutional Court later nullified the Feb 2, 2014 election, citing technical issues in the decree governing it.
Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra faced vehement street protests after the government tried to ram a blanket amnesty bill through parliament in October 2013. She dissolved the House in early December and the election was set on Feb 2.
The demonstrators were later morphed into the PDRC and its agenda was changed to unseating Ms Yingluck.
They did not want a fresh election for fear voters might re-elect her and demanded reforms be implemented before a general election could be held.
Disrupting the Feb 2 elections was therefore a means of achieving this end.
The stand-off continued until the military coup was staged four months later.