6 June 2024

A Chiang Mai court ordered the Election Commission (EC) this morning (Thursday) to pay about 70 million baht in compensation including interest to former Pheu Thai MP Surapol Kiatchaiyakorn, after it damaged his reputation by ruling to discount his election result on the grounds of alleged vote buying.

The lawsuit to demand compensation was filed against the EC and 14 election officials in Chiang Mai, after the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Officer Holders overruled the EC’s decision, which was that Surapol’s spending of about 2,000 baht for a religious ritual to celebrate his birthday during the campaign prior to the general election in 2019 amounted to vote buying.

The provincial court’s ruling is, however, not yet final and the EC has the right to appeal within a month.

At a press conference this morning (Thursday) in Chiang Mai, Surapol, who has previously won eight elections in this northern province, said he is pleased with the verdict because he has finally been accorded the justice that he deserves, after being robbed of the chance be elected in the last election.

He said that he will still contest the next general election under the banner of the Pheu Thai party.

The former MP also threatened to sue the EC and officials concerned for alleged malfeasance if today’s verdict is not followed through.