EC endorses MP status of 358 candidates, excluding Abhisit and Yingluck

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BANGKOK, July 13 — The Election Commission (EC) officially endorsed 358 member of parliament candidates but delayed the endorsement of 142 MP candidates including outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and prime minister-to-be Yingluck Shinawatra.

The core leaders of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), the Red Shirt movement, including jailed Jatuporn Prompan and Nattawut Saikua, did not appear in the first batch of endorsed MPs.

After considering for more than 10 hours, the five Election Commissioners announced the first group of endorsed MPs.

EC Secretary General Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn told a press briefing late Tuesday that the agency endorsed 358 candidates — 109 for party-list seats and 249 for constituency-based candidates — from 500 overall seats in the House of Representatives.

One hundred forty-two candidates remain unendorsed — 16 party-list and 126 constituency-based.

Among the candidates not yet endorsed are former House Speaker Chai Chidchob from the Bhumjaithai Party and Patcharin Munpan, the sole winning MP of the New Democrat Party.

As for the Democrat Party, apart from Mr Abhisit, other winning candidates forced to wait for endorsement were Ongart Klampaiboon, outgoing Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office and Siriwan Prasjaksattru, deputy secretary general of the party.

Meanwhile, in additional to Ms Yingluck, other winning candidates of the Pheu Thai Party who must wait for endorsement are mostly UDD leaders, including Mr Jatuporn, Mr Nattawut, Weng Tojirakarn, and Korkaew Pikulthong as well as former deputy house speaker Col Apiwan Wiriyachai.

Mr Suthiphon said the EC did not immediately endorse the 142 candidates because there were complaints against them for irregularities including vote buying and slander during the election campaign and the agency needed more time to investigate the complaints on a case by case basis.

The five Election Commissioners will meet again on July 19  to consider endorsing the rest of the candidates.