Democrat party denies allegations of election fraud

The Democrat Party said they have not committed election fraud, instead they urged the Election Commission (EC) to investigate the allegations of irregularity during the by-election in Chumphon, and warned of a lawsuit if they found the accusation to be false. 

“The party’s campaign was based on honesty and we wanted the Election Commission to compile all the facts in order to provide fairness for all sides,” the party spokesman, Ramet Rattanachaweng, told Thai Enquirer via phone on Monday.

“Our legal team will discuss with our candidate in the area to prepare all the information in case the EC wants us to clarify something,” he said.

The seat was vacant because Chumpol Julsai, a former Democrat Party MP for Constituency 1 in Chumphon, lost his MP status after the Criminal Court found him guilty for his role in the People’s Democratic Reform Committee’s protests in 2013 and 2014.

The Democrat party’s new candidate, Isarapong Makampai, won the by-election in the province on Sunday.

After the results were announced, Thammanat Prompao, the secretary-general of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), told local media that the reason why his party lost the election was because they were ill-prepared and electoral fraud.

“It was unbelievable that election fraud was caught today with clear evidence of money being transferred via a bank account…I have never seen such election fraud,” he said.

He added that he saw the evidence from the police, noting that the PPRP had already complained to the Election Commission in Chumphon. He mentioned that he cannot believe that “a party which always has a pristine image,” would commit such a crime.

“The election in Chumphon is not finished. We were not the ones who caught the wrongdoers, it was the authorities and there is clear evidence,” he said.

Deputy Interior Minister Niphon Bunyamanee, and deputy leader of the Democrat Party, told the media on Sunday that Thammanat’s comments reflected a “sore loser,” and such comments should not happen in such a race.

He also said Thammanat should not be the person to make such an allegation since that is the job of the EC, but stated that in the case that there is evidence, he should show it to the commission.

“We are all grownups and we should be careful when we are doing anything, not just accusing people and damaging their reputation or losing an election and do not know how else to explain it so you accused others of cheating,” he said.      

Ramet, the Democrat party spokesman,  said the accuser has the right to file a complaint, but if there was an accusation against the Democrat Party without any evidence, the accuser must be responsible for it.

“We are not worried,” he told Thai Enquirer. “The accuser has to also be careful because there are laws against filing a complaint with falsified information.”


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