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Election body keen to retain power to oust poll cheats

Sep 30. 2015
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By THE NATION

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THE ELECTION Commission will try to ensure that it can still hand out 'yellow' and 'red cards' to candidates who commit fraud under the new constitution, but says it will wait to see what moves the new charter drafters make before pushing for other po
EC chairman Supachai Somcharoen said yesterday that one of the EC’s main roles was to ensure that poll candidates who cheat are disqualified from running. But |he said the EC was not ‘power hungry’.
Sriamporn Salikup, a senior Supreme Court judge, recommended that the EC seek the support of charter drafters in getting power under the new charter to issue summons and to search houses of people suspected to have committed election fraud.
 
EC officials’ authority
Sriamporn, who made the suggestion during the last of a series of nine academic seminars organised by the EC to get feedback from and for provincial election bodies, said the power to issue summons and search houses should be exercised by legally authorised EC officials only. Power to issue arrest warrants should remain with the courts.
Runrueng Lampornchart, an assistant Appeals Court judge, said documents submitted by the EC to the courts were often too detailed. The EC should reduce the amount of information and words included in papers for court proceedings, he said.
EC chairman Supachai, a former senior Appeals Court judge, said the submission of detailed legal documents was the practice of the commission because some witnesses named by the EC were not summoned to testify by the judges. 
The EC wanted them to know the in-depth background of each witness.
Supachai said he would consider all the advice from the judges to improve the work of the agency.

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