BANGKOK, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's Election Commission (EC) is accusing former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra of abusing power by using public funds to campaign for election, local media reported Monday.
EC investigators have alleged that Yingluck, along with eight other former cabinet ministers and national police chief, violated the already-abrogated 2007 constitution by making trips across the country ahead of the later-nullified February 2 general election, Bangkok Post quoted a high-placed source with the EC as saying.
This is a fresh allegation against Yingluck following the high- profile case in which the National Anti-Corruption Commission ( NACC) has alleged the former premier of negligence of duty in overseeing a controversial rice-pledging scheme.
The NACC has forwarded the case to the Office of the Attorney- General for indictment. If found guilty, Yingluck could face a jail term as well as a five-year ban from politics.
The trips the EC has been investigating were made while Yingluck and her cabinet were in a caretaking status following the dissolution of the House of Representatives on December 9, 2013, according to the source.
The trips violated Section 181 of the 2007 constitution, which stipulated that the outgoing cabinet shall refrain from using resources or personnel of State to conduct an act which may affect the result of a general election, the source said.
All involved in the case will be called to defend themselves before the EC's investigation panel, pending further action, the source added.
The EC will have to take the case to the Supreme Court's Election Cases Division for ruling. If found guilty, those involved could face up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of 200,000 baht (about 6,186 U.S. dollars) and a 10-year ban from elections.
Moreover, the former ruling Pheu Thai Party could be disbanded as some of the accused are its executive members.