Pheu Thai MP-elect in Chiang Mai slapped with orange card by EC

Pheu Thai party’s prospective MP for Chiang Mai’s Constituency 8 has had his right to contest an election suspended for one year after the Election Commission (EC) faulted him for alleged vote buying.

The Tuesday decision to issue Pheu Thai’s prospective MP, Mr. Suraphol Kiatchaiyakorn, with an orange card, the first relating to the March 24th election, means that an election re-run will be held. The EC will now submit the case to the Supreme Court’s Election Affairs Division to seek revocation of his voting rights.

The issuance of the so-called “orange card”  is considered a milder penalty for election candidates found to have breached the election law.

The votes cast for Mr. Suraphol, totaling 52,165,  will not be added to the votes for all candidates of the Pheu Thai party in the calculating of party-list seats.  However, the party is unlikely to get any party-list seats because it has won more constituency seats than the party-list seats that it is supposed to receive.

Minus Mr. Suraphol, the rest of the candidates will contest the poll re-run.  The first runner-up in the March 24th election is Mr. Naret Thamrongtippayakul of the Palang Pracharat party who received 39,221 votes.

In Chiang Mai today, Mr. Suraphol said he was stunned by the EC’s decision and insisted that he was not involved in a Pha Pa ceremony in Chom Thong district, which a group of residents had asked the EC to investigate.

However, he admitted that he donated 2,000 baht to a monk in a personal capacity, which he claimed had nothing to do with currying favour for electoral gain because the monk could not vote anyway.


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