EC urged to probe suspected cheats in selection of senators
The Election Commission has been told to investigate suspected cheats in the selection of senators in Bangkok on Thursday.
In a statement addressed to the EC today, PNET, a non-governmental organization focusing on strengthening local networking on democracy and electoral processes, said that during the selection of senatorial candidates at national level which was held at Muang Thong Thani conference hall on Thursday, its volunteers found one candidate with a poster hung on his back, showing his number, name and the group that he represented.
The candidate whom PNET did not identify was seen strolling around the conference room and talking with other candidates as well as some media members in a way resembling campaigning for support which is deemed a violation of regulation which forbids senatorial candidates from campaigning.
PNET said in its statement that its volunteers quickly alerted election officials at the venue of the candidate’s conduct, but the officials did nothing to stop the candidate, claiming that his conduct was legitimate.
The NGO also cited another case in which a female candidate was seen talking on a cellphone in the toilet of the conference room – an act which is banned by the regulations.
Besides these two incidents which are deemed illegal, PNET said there were several other suspected irregularities concerning the selection of the senators and urged election officials to strictly enforce the law and regulation to ensure fairness in the selection process of senators.
It said that similar suspected electoral irregularities or cheats could be repeated in the election of members of the parliament and, hence, it was imperative for the EC to train its officials to be familiar with all forms of cheats so they would be able to detect them and to stem them in the bud.
In the meantime, PNET appealed to all candidates and parties to strictly play by the rules and to make the forthcoming clean and fair so it will be recognized at home and abroad.