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Thailand court rejects election commission nominees in latest ouster bid

[JURIST] The Thailand Supreme Court on Wednesday stepped up its efforts to pressure Thailand's Election Commission (EC) [official website] to resign over failed parliamentary elections [BBC report] in April, which the Constitutional Court annulled [JURIST report] in early May, by rejecting two nominees to serve on the panel. Thailand's three principal courts have repeatedly called for the EC to resign [JURIST report] amid allegations that it favors the ruling Thai Rak Thai party [Wikipedia backgrounder]. In overturning the April election results, the Constitutional Court found that the EC unconstitutionally organized the parliamentary elections too soon after Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [official website] dismissed parliament, leaving new candidates little time to prepare. The EC faces several lawsuits filed by the main opposition Democrat Party and other adversaries of Thaksin, who returned to power last week after a "political break," for favoring the Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai party.

The Supreme Court voted 72-4, in an unusual sitting of the entire court, to reject nominees to two empty seats on the EC. Thailand's Cabinet on Tuesday approved October 15 as the date for new elections, after the three principal courts initially rejected October 22 [JURIST reports]. Reuters has more.

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