Ex-TRC candidates to be probed for trying to “influence” voters
The Election Commission (EC) has ordered an investigation into the conduct of some former candidates of the disbanded Thai Raksa Chart party who have reportedly urged their supporters to vote for anti-Prayut parties or to cast “No Vote” ballots in the March-24 general election.
EC chairman Itthiporn Bonprakhong said today that persuading the electorate to vote for a candidate or party, or campaigning by a former candidate of a disbanded party for his or her supporters to vote for other parties, might be construed as influencing voters against their free will, which can be illegal.
“The law states clearly that voters must decide for themselves for whom they should vote and no one has the right to tell them how to vote,” said Mr. Itthiporn, adding that it would depend on the evidence whether anyone will be found to be at fault.
The EC chairman said the investigation would also focus on the conduct of Mr. Worawat Uah-apinyakul, the former TRC candidate in the northern Phrae province, who has reportedly campaigned for his supporters not to vote for any candidate now that he has been disqualified. Mr. Itthiporn insisted that the EC does not need to wait for someone to file a formal complaint before initiating an investigation.
Core members and former candidates of the disbanded Thai Raksa Chart party have been actively campaigning for so-called pro-democratic parties after the Election Commission ruled that they are permitted to engage in political activities.