Thailand constitutional court voids election results

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Thailand [official website] on Monday invalidated the results of the country's April 2 parliamentary elections [BBC report], ruling that the "organization of the election by the Election Commission [official website] was unconstitutional," because the poll was held too soon after Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [official profile] dismissed parliament, preventing candidates from having sufficient time to prepare for elections. In a narrow 8-6 decision, the court annulled the results of the election and in a separate 9-5 decision, the court ruled that new elections should be held. A ruling in a separate challenge to the elections is expected from the Administrative Court of Thailand [official website] on May 16, and that court is expected to reach a similar conclusion.

Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej [official profile] called on the nation's courts late last month to take a more active role [JURIST report] in resolving the country's election crisis [JURIST report] and judges from the Constitutional, Administrative and Supreme Courts have indicated that their rulings on the elections will be consistent [JURIST report]. Thaksin called elections three years earlier than expected in an effort to win support for his troubled leadership. Instead, opposition parties boycotted the April elections and not all seats were filled, forcing Thaksin to announce he would be stepping down [BBC report], though his deputy prime minister said last week that if the court annulled the election results, Thaksin would not have to adhere to this pledge. AP has more. BBC News has additional coverage.



 

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