Thai election officials say 66 winners risk disqualification

2019-04-05 17:44
A Thai election officer marks vote count as counting commenced at a polling station in Bangkok, Thailand. (Sakchai Lalit, AP)

A Thai election officer marks vote count as counting commenced at a polling station in Bangkok, Thailand. (Sakchai Lalit, AP)

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Election officials in Thailand said on Friday that 66 winning candidates in last month's elections face possible disqualification because of complaints filed against them.

If any of the 66 candidates who won the most votes in their districts are disqualified, it would directly affect the final election results, including the number of party-list seats each party is awarded according to a complex formula related to their share of the overall popular vote, said Election Commissioner Pakorn Mahannop.

"We are quickly processing this, every day, no days off," he said.

The commission has come under heavy public criticism over alleged mismanagement of the nation's first elections since a military coup in 2014. It is accused of releasing delayed and inconsistent results.

The final certified vote tallies are due on May 9. No party won a majority, according to preliminary figures.

On Thursday, the Election Commission ordered a recount of votes and new elections in some polling areas after finding irregularities in the March 24 polls.

Pakorn said it ordered new elections to take place in six polling stations because it found there were missing ballots.

"Even if we find that there was only one missing ballot, we have to order a new election," Pakorn said.

The election was for 500 seats in the lower house of Parliament. Of those, 350 seats are set aside for the winner of each constituency, while another 150 are party-list seats.

Pakorn said there was only one formula to calculate the number of party-list seats as stipulated in the military-drafted constitution, despite some reports that other formulas had also been announced.

Pakorn said the Election Commission would be able to announce the allocation of party-list seats for each party "within 10 minutes" once the final voting results become clear.

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