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Thailand starts third round by-elections


January 21, 2008

Thailand starts third round by-elections

Thailand on Sunday morning started its third round of by-elections of last month's general election in the provinces of Nakhon Ratchasima, Phrae and Udon Thani, to fill the 13 MPs (Member of Parliament) posts whose winners were disqualified by the Election Commission (EC) earlier.

According local TV live reports, all the re-election constituencies showed low turnout.

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The by-elections were held after the earlier victory of two Puea Pandin Party MP candidates and 11 People Power Party (PPP) MP candidates were nullified by the EC on vote-buying charges.

Unofficial results of Sunday's by-elections are expected to be known later Sunday.

During the general election held on Dec. 23 last year, the PPP won a total of 233 of the 480 parliament seats, while the Democrat Party won 165, the Chart Thai party 37, Puea Pandin Party 24, RuamJai Thai Chart Pattana Party nine, Matchimathipataya Party seven and Pracharaj Party five.

However, the EC said the election agency has got many reports of election fraud cases and it will rely on evidence to rule on how many red and yellow cards to be issued on electoral frauds.

According to the election law, a candidate who was issued with a red card will be disqualified in the by-elections, while a candidate with a yellow card still can re-contest the by-elections.

After three rounds of by-elections which were held on Jan. 13, 17 and 20, the first parliament meeting is scheduled to be held on Jan 21.

Courtesy Xinhua

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