Thailand: Phalang Pracharat cleared of all election irregularities

  • The Election Commission (EC) has cleared the pro-junta bloc of five allegations that could have disbarred them from politics, including the controversial fundraising banquet that raised THB 650mn for Phalang Pracharat in 2018.
  • The concern was especially timely, given that anti-junta party Future Forward was prohibited by the EC from selling souvenirs online around the same time in 2018, ruling them unlawful.
  • EC secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma said on 2 Jul 19 that Phalang Pracharat’s fundraising dinner was not illegal because although the ticket prices were high, the organisers were competent enough to charge them.
  • Jarungvith further explained that the law did not impose a cap on how much supporters could fund a political party, so no action would be taken against Phalang Pracharat over the fundraiser.
  • Four other cases were brought to the EC by pro-Shinawatra politician Ruangkrai Leekitwatana regarding Phalang Pracharat and its politicians but all were dismissed.
  • They were the petition to dissolve Phalang Pracharat for illegally nominating Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha as its PM candidate, the case that Prayut was a state official and could not be a candidate for PM, the case that Prayut’s social media accounts could be seen as making him the owner of media companies and thus disqualified, and the case against Phalang Pracharat leader Uttama Savanayana’s potentially illegal leadership.

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