Court disqualifies Pheu Thai MP

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The Supreme Court’s Election Division yesterday disqualified Karun Hosakul as Pheu Thai MP for Bangkok’s Constituency 12 after he was found guilty of defaming Democrat candidate Tankhun Jittitsara.

The Supreme Court found him guilty and ruled that his comments had influenced the election result. Karun was also found to have violated the MPs and Senators’ Election Act by attacking Tankhun’s background and falsely alleging that he posed for nude photos in a gay magazine.

The court ordered a by-election in Bangkok’s Constituency 12, which is in Don Muang district. The Election Commission has yet to set a date.

Election Commissioner Prapun Naigowit said it is likely that the by-election will be held on June 16.

The cost of the election, based on what was spent previously, is expected to stand at about Bt10 million and Karun will be made to cover it, he said.

Democrat Party’s deputy leader Korn Chatikavanij said Tankhun deserved to run in the by-election, though whether he is selected will be up to the party’s candidate selection committee led by former leader Banyat Bantadtan and the party’s executives.

The executives will meet on Monday and will also discuss when the selection process should begin, Korn said.

Tankhun said he felt sorry for Karun, but admitted that he had to be very careful as his canvassar had been attacked several times but the investigation has not made much progress. He also said that he did not know if the party would support him for the candidacy.

On July 3, 2011, Karun won the election with 38,351 votes, while Democrat candidate Tankhun received 30,675 votes and Captain Chompol Yusanon came in third with 1,018.

Pheu Thai Bangkok MP Vicharn Minchainant said it would be up to the party to decide who it will field in the by-election.



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