Thai courts reject proposed date for new elections

Thai courts reject proposed date for new elections

Thai courts reject proposed date for new elections

Posted 17 May 2006, 15:04 AEST

Thailand's three most important courts have rejected a proposed October 22 date for new elections.

The Supreme, Constitutional and Supreme Administrative Courts have also demanded that the Election Commission resign over its organisation of last month's controversial snap poll.

Supreme Court Justice Charan Pakdithanakul says if the current commissioners don't quit, then free and fair elections cannot be guaranteed.

He also says the courts consider the meeting, initiated by the Election Commission to set a date for elections, was illegal, as only three of the five commissioners were present.

The government has the final say on the election date.

The Election Commission has received much of the blame for the flawed elections, which left Thailand without a functioning parliament, amid an opposition boycott, and forced prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to step aside.

Mr Thaksin called the snap election for April 2 in a bid to stop protests against him, which began after Mr Thaksin's family sold $US1.9 billion of shares in Shin Corp, the telecoms firm he founded before entering politics, in a tax-free deal.