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3 elected candidates of winning party "yellow-carded"
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08:49, December 26, 2007

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Thailand's Election Commission (EC)decided Tuesday to disqualify three elected MP candidates of the People Power Party (PPP), the winner of Sunday's general election, on alleged involvement in vote-buying scam, said EC member Sodsri Satyatham.

Sodsri named the three PPP candidates, who just won the contest for constituency MP seats for the Constituency three in the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima, as Boonlert Krutkhunthot, Linda Cherdchai and Prasert Chantarawongthong, according to the Thai News Agency.

The EC decided to issue "yellow cards" to disqualify the winning PPP candidates on their alleged involvement in a vote-buying scam, the agency said.

According to EC regulations, elected candidates given "yellow cards" could re-run in a by-election to get the seat, scheduled tentatively on January 13.

Both the "yellow cards" and "red cards" are indicators certifying disqualification of elected candidates accused of electoral cheating and misconduct.

An elected candidate who receives a red card will lose the seat and be banned from contesting in an election or a by-election for a year.

Thailand held a general election on Sunday, the first since a military coup ousted former elected prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in September last year and installed an interim government.

The EC announced earlier on Tuesday the official poll results, which has seen the PPP, seen as a nominee party for former premier Thaksin, win the election with 233 of the 480 seats in the House of Representatives, with its major rival the Democrat Party getting 165.

With the issuance of the three yellow cards, the current numberof MP seats won by the PPP has fallen to 230. The PPP will have to look for support of other parties to secure an absolute majority in the parliament to form a coalition government.

Meanwhile, the EC said three other winning PPP candidates -- Kittikorn Lohsunthorn, Thanathorn Lohsunthorn and Wasit Phayakhabut -- in Lampang Province's Constituency one are suspected of involvement in electoral wrongdoing, and have been asked to report to the polling agency for questioning Thursday.

Source: Xinhua

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