Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Yingluck qualifies to be 1st Thai female PM candidate

Thailand's Election Commission endorsed Yingluck Shinawatra as a member of parliament after the July 3 election, a commissioner said on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK - THAILAND'S election watchdog endorsed Yingluck Shinawatra as a parliamentarian on Tuesday, clearing the way for her to become the country's first female prime minister following a July 3 landslide by her opposition party.

The Election Commission gave the all-clear for the sister of self-exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to take a parliamentary seat, dismissing a series of complaints that she had committed electoral violations.

The decision will ease concerns about near-term political instability after veiled threats by some of her supporters that they would protest against any decision to disqualify Ms Yingluck, whose Puea Thai Party won 265 of the 500 seats in parliament.

The commission also cleared outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, the leader of the defeated Democrat Party, of alleged vote-buying, allowing him to play a role in the parliamentary opposition.

'We found no problems. Unanimous decisions were taken in lifting complaints against Ms Yingluck and Mr Abhisit,' Sodsri Satayatham, one of the five commissioners, told Reuters.

Several of Ms Yingluck's opponents had lodged complaints with the commission alleging she violated election laws by allowing banned politicians, including Mr Thaksin and former Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, to play a role in her campaign. -- REUTERS


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