05/08/2006, 00.00
THAILAND
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Supreme Court rules April 2 elections unconstitutional

The 14-member Supreme Court rules new elections must be held, but no date has yet to be set. Recently elected parliament was without opposition and thus "anti-democratic".

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Thailand's Constitutional Court has ruled that the April 2 general election was unconstitutional, and another must be held, this according to Judge Ura Wangomklang, one of the 14 judges on the court.

"The constitutional court voted 8 to 6 that the elections were unconstitutional and voted 9 to 5 to hold a new election," he said on Monday morning.

An opposition boycott of the election left empty seats in parliament and Thaksin Shinawatra, the prime minister, was unable to form a new government.

Most votes went to Thai Rak Thai, led by the controversial Prime Minister and media magnate, which ran unopposed because of the opposition boycott. Its victory was undermined by the high number of protest or "No Vote".

After two series of by-elections failed to fill the 40 seats left vacant, the High Administrative Court on April 28 decided to cancel a third series scheduled to fill the remaining 14 vacant seats.

The court intervened after Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej spoke about the issue on April 26. The monarch, who had rejected a proposition to form a government under his direct rule, said in a rare public statement that a parliament without an opposition would have been "anti-democratic".

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