Thai court nullifies February general election, fueling political crisis

Thailand's Constitutional Court ruled Friday that the general elections held February 2 are null and void because not all constituencies were able to vote, a violation of the royal decree that stipulated "the general election must be held on February 2, 2014."
By JC Finley   |   March 21, 2014 at 10:42 AM   |   Comments

March 21 (UPI) -- Thailand's Constitutional Court ruled Friday that February's general election was unlawful.

The Court explained its ruling in a statement: "The 2013 royal decree on the House of Representatives dissolution stated that the general election must be held on Feb 2, 2014. But on that date, no election was held in 28 constituencies. ... Re-elections for the 28 constituencies after Feb 2 are therefore impossible because it would mean the elections were not held on the same date throughout the kingdom."

The February 2 elections had been ordered by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in an attempt to defuse a national crisis. Anti-government protests, led by the opposition Democrat Party, have been ongoing since November 2013. Protesters are calling for the removal of the prime minister, whom they accuse of acting on behalf of her brother, ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The Democrat Party organized an effective boycott of the February 2 general elections and blocked some polling centers.

The Constitutional Court reviewed the legitimacy of the general elections at the request of the Office of the Ombudsman, which had received a complaint from a law lecturer at Thammasat University. During the case, the court heard from the ombudsman, the prime minister's representative, and the Election Commission chairman.

The opposition Democrat Party indicated it may boycott a second election because its goal is national reform.

[Bangkok Post]

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