Court disqualifies UDD leader Jatuporn as MP

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BANGKOK, May 18 – Thailand’s Constitution Court on Friday disqualified Jatuporn Prompan, a key leader of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), as a Pheu Thai party-list member of parliament.

The verdict was delivered Friday morning, with a number of UDD Red Shirt leaders and supporters showing up at court to give Mr Jatuporn moral support.

Speaking to reporters ealier in the morning, Mr Jatuporn said he would accept the court’s ruling no matter what the decision might be.

The court’s ruling upheld the decision of the Election Commission (EC) which recommended his disqualification as a Pheu Thai MP.

The EC last year ruled that Mr Jatuporn lost his party membership for failing to exercise his right to vote in the July 3 election because he was in jail weeks before the general election.

Mr Jatuporn was jailed in Bangkok Remand Prison on charges of alleged terrorism during the election, and the court rejected his request to leave prison to go to the polling station.

Loss of his political party membership means that Mr Jatuporn has lost a necessary qualification for being an MP.

He was also charged with lese majeste over comments made during a speech at a UDD rally on April 10 last year.

The Department of Special Investigation recommended not to indict him. The public prosecutors later dropped the charges against the Red Shirt co-leader.