Thai court hopes to rule next week

Thailand's Constitutional Court said Thursday it hopes to deliver a verdict on the validity of last month's parliamentary elections early next week to end Thailand's drawn-out political crisis.

Judges expected to wrap up deliberations Thursday on a complaint alleging that April 2 elections were illegitimate and undemocratic, which could pave the way for a ruling "early next week," said the Constitutional Court's acting president Phan Chantaraphan.

"We will rule on this case as soon as we can since everyone is expecting a quick solution," Phan told reporters.

Thailand has been in political limbo for weeks, since inconclusive April 2 snap polls that have widely been criticized as flawed. Many expect the courts to nullify the election and call a fresh vote.

The Constitutional Court is one of two high courts charged with examining the hundreds of lawsuits and complaints against the election, which was called by then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to defuse anti-government protests demanding his resignation.

Its judges are currently deliberating over a case brought by academics that carries several complaints, including that the polls were scheduled too hastily after Thaksin dissolved Parliament and did not give all parties enough preparation time. The complaint also alleges that the positioning of ballot booths compromised voter privacy.

The Administrative Court, which adjudicates cases of dispute involving state agencies, is examining a complaint lodged by another group of academics against the Election Commission and said Wednesday it would not rule until mid-May, reports the AP.

I.L.