EC absolves Thaksin over accusation about "buy votes"

Thailand's Election Commission ( EC) has ruled that caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra did not break the election law by promising to allocate funds to a village during his rally in Khon Kaen's Ban Pai district, English- language newspaper the Nation reported Monday.

Thaksin had reportedly told Ban Nong Pue villagers that "This year, Ban Nong Pue received 300,000 baht (about 7,500 U.S. dollars) from the SML fund, next year it will receive 300,000 baht and the following year 300,000 baht but on the condition that I must be the prime minister."

The government fund is allocated based on the size of the village, which was called as "small, medium or large (SML) fund."

The EC sub-committee investigating the complaint ruled on Sunday that Thaksin did not break the law because the SML is part of the government policy and the money promised is given out of state funds and not that of the Thai Rak Thai Party or from other private sources.

With regard to the second complaint about the "Caravan of the Poor" which made up of northern and northeastern farmers organizing a concert at Chatuchak Park in support of Thaksin as the next prime minister, the sub-committee ruled the group had the right to gather peacefully.

Source: Xinhua



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