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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Thai election commission withholds results

Citing the need to investigate alleged electoral law violations, Thailand’s Election Commission has postponed certifying the poll victory of Yingluck Shinawatra, the opposition leader who was poised to become the fractious nation’s first female prime minister.
The commission announced late Tuesday that Yingluck was one of a quarter of winning candidates in the country’s July 3 parliamentary ballot that it has yet to endorse.

The move was sure to raise tensions in the volatile nation, but the commission could still certify the candidates’ victories in the days ahead if they are absolved of the complaints against them.
The Election Commission, which has the right to disqualify winners, did not specify reasons for it rulings on Tuesday.
Among the 142 candidates in the 500-member lower house of parliament that the commission failed to endorse was the army-backed incumbent Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Ms. Yingluck is the youngest sister of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, whose overthrow in a 2006 military coup triggered years of turmoil that many see as pitting long-marginalised rural Thais against an elite alliance comprising the army, the military and powerful businessmen and politicians.
Mr. Thaksin is barred from politics and lives in exile in Dubai to escape a two-year prison term on a graft conviction that he says is politically motivated.
Ms. Yingluck’s Pheu Thai party won 265 of the parliament seats up for grabs, a victory that gave the opposition the crucial majority it needed to form a government.
The lower house has 30 days to convene and another 30 days from its first session to officially select a prime minister. 

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