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Thailand election panel seeking fraud charges against former Thaksin ministers

[JURIST] The Election Commission of Thailand [official website, in Thai] is proceeding with criminal charges against two former government ministers under former Prime Minister Thaksin Sinawatra [BBC profile] for their alleged role in committing election fraud [JURIST report] during the voided April 2006 parliamentary elections [JURIST report]. Election Commission Secretary General Suthiphol Thavichaikam said Tuesday that the commission will charge Thammarack Issarangura na Ayutthaya, former Defense Minister and former deputy leader of the newly banned [JURIST report] Thai Rak Thai (TRT), and former Transportation Minister and TRT Deputy Secretary-General Pongsak Raktaphongphaisal for paying two minor political parties to both participate in and later contest the elections. The two former ministers allegedly forged registration documents to facilitate the hired candidates' false bids for parliamentary posts. Seven other TRT members face similar charges.

The TRT went on trial [JURIST report] in January for allegedly misusing the independent Election Commission and illegally paying smaller parties to run candidates, and was dissolved in May by the Constitutional Court of the Kingdom of Thailand [official website, in Thai]. The court also banned 111 party officials from holding any political office for a period of five years. The Thai News Agency has more. Xinhua has additional coverage.

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