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Thailand administrative court calls off by-elections as electoral crisis deepens

[JURIST] The Administrative Court of Thailand [official website] on Friday called off by-elections [press release, in Thai] scheduled for this weekend because there is a possibility that the results of the April 2 general election [BBC report; Thailand Election Commission website] will be determined to be illegitimate. Earlier this week, Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej [official profile] urged the country's Supreme Court [government backgrounder] to take an active role in resolving the country's ongoing election crisis [JURIST report] and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court agreed that the judiciary must take a more active role and called a joint meeting [JURIST report] of the three relevant courts in Thailand: the Supreme Court, the Administrative Court, and the Constitutional Court [official website]. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [official profile] called elections three years earlier than expected in an effort to win support for his troubled leadership. Instead, opposition parties boycotted the elections and not all seats were filled, forcing Thaksin to announce he would be stepping down [BBC report] and prompting the by-elections scheduled for this weekend. Under the Thai constitution [text], parliament cannot convene until all seats are filled.

Judges from all three courts said Friday that their rulings on the elections would be consistent. The Constitutional Court is due to hear two election-related cases on Monday. Reuters has more. The Bangkok Post has local coverage.

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