EC probes poll noodle fryingYingluck insists she broke no election lawsThe EC is investigating an allegation that Pheu Thai's potential candidate for premiership Yingluck Shinawatra violated election law when she cooked fried noodles and distributed it to the voters during a May 31 campaign stop in Nakhon Ratchasima province. But at first glance, it is likely she did nothing wrong.
In this file photo, Pheu Thai’s prospective candidate for premiership stirfries noodles on grounds near the statue of Thao Suranaree during her election campaigning in Nakhon Ratchasima on May31. Yingluck Shinawatra isnow accused of giving food to voters in exchange for votes,which could violate the election law.
EC secretary-general Suthipol Thaweechaikarn said the EC had already received the findings of the investigation into the matter conducted by the Nakhon Ratchasima provincial election commission. The EC is scheduled to meet to consider the case on July 12.
"Preliminary results from the investigation show it was not an act of intending to cook the noodles to give them to supporters because a noodle vendor was cooking when Ms Yingluck arrived and she asked if she could help her with the cooking," he said.
Still, more witness accounts are needed before the EC can move forward on the case, he said.
The noodle complaint was filed with the EC by a Nakhon Sawan resident who had only seen a photo of Ms Yingluck cooking the noodles on the front page of a local newspaper, Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said.
The Nakhon Sawan resident then cut the picture from the newspaper and submitted it along with a complaint that Ms Yingluck had violated the law because she distributed the noodles in an effort to woo their support, Mr Prompong said.
He said this common campaign activity was not aimed at encouraging the people to vote for Ms Yingluck and the leaders of other parties had also cooked in front of their admirers.
Ms Yingluck said yesterday that she did not give away the noodles after she finished cooking them and that reporters who were there could back up her story.
Earlier yesterday, Kanok Siriphensopha, who headed the Nakhon Ratchasima election commission's probe, said his team had wrapped up the inquiry and sent the findings to the central EC.
The provincial commission had interviewed Chongrak Waeokhok, 63, who was the owner of the fried noodle stall that Ms Yingluck had cooked at, he said. Under the law Mr Kanok added that he could not disclose details of the investigating team's findings.
Mrs Chongrak told reporters that she liked Ms Yingluck and the Pheu Thai Party so she had prepared for the Pheu Thai candidate to do some cooking when she heard that she would be visiting central Nakhon Ratchasima on May 31. "Moreover, it was I who paid the 320 baht for the ingredients and the cooking equipment that Ms Yingluck used because I am an admirer of her," she said.Bangkok Post