Sunday, 24 September 2023

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Thailand Election Commission orders vote recount at 47 polling stations amidst complaints of irregularities

BANGKOK, THAILAND – The Thailand Election Commission (EC) has issued orders for a vote recount at 47 polling stations across the country following discoveries of mismatched numbers between ballots cast and voter turnout in the 14 May general election.

The EC has identified 16 of these stations for a recount of constituency MPs’ ballots, while the remaining 31 have been tasked with recounting the party-list MPs’ ballots. These recounts are being carried out among a total of 95,000 polling stations that facilitated the election, where 67 political parties vied for seats.

Thai media sources explained that irregularities could occur when the voter turnout is higher than the vote count, usually due to voters leaving the polling station without taking the ballot after exercising their right.

The EC decided on the recount after concluding that these irregularities could potentially influence the final election results, rankings of MP candidates, and the popularity votes that each party received. The names and locations of the 47 stations undergoing the recount are yet to be disclosed by the EC.

This decision, currently pending approval by EC chairman Ittiporn Boonprakong, is expected to be signed and dispatched to the EC’s provincial offices shortly. The recount is slated to take place on Sunday (11 June), with updated results to be announced later this month.

Thai law mandates the EC to announce the official election results within 60 days post the election day.

This recent development follows after Ittiporn confirmed last week that the EC had received approximately 280 complaints concerning irregularities in the general election, 20 of which originated from MP candidates who ranked second. The EC is currently investigating these claims as swiftly as possible.

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