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Thai court rejects bid to nullify election

Opposition party had petitioned to annul vote and disband Shinawatra's party, after polls were disrupted by violence.

Last updated: 12 Feb 2014 10:24
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The Democrat Party boycotted the February 2 vote, saying it would not end Thailand's political crisis [EPA]

Thailand's opposition has lost a legal bid to nullify a controversial election, in a boost to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's crisis-hit administration.

The kingdom's Constitutional Court on Wednesday declined to consider the Democrat Party's petition to annul the February 2 vote and disband Shinawatra's party, citing insufficient grounds.

"This case is over," the head of the opposition's legal team, Wiratana Kalayasiri, told the Agence France-Presse news agency. "But if the government does anything wrong again, we will make another complaint."

Shinawatra had called the election in an attempt to assuage opposition demonstrators, who have staged more than three months of mass street protests seeking her resignation.

The Democrats boycotted the vote, saying it would not end a political crisis stretching back to a military coup in 2006 that ousted Shinawatra's elder brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, as premier.

Voting was also cancelled in some areas because of disruptions caused by anti-government protestors, who want Yingluck to stand down to make way for an unelected "People's Council" that would enact anti-corruption reforms.

Caretaker role

Parties supportive of the Shinawatra family have won every election for more than a decade, helped by strong support in the northern half of the kingdom.

The Election Commission has said that the results of this month's vote will not be announced until polls have been held in all constituencies.

In the meantime, Shinawatra remains in a caretaker role with limited power over policy.

The Election Commission on Tuesday set a date of April 27 for election re-runs in constituencies where voting was disrupted by protesters, the AFP reported.

However, there is still no decision on what to do about 28 constituencies that have no candidates because demonstrators blocked the registration process.

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Source:
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