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Election Committee withdraws Vientiane candidate

The National Election Committee (NEC) has asked Vientiane’s Election Committee to withdraw Associate Prof. Dr Outhanh Taylitthi from the list of candidates competing for a seat on the capital’s People’s Council, saying he was not sufficiently qualified.
NEC standing member Ms Sisay Leudethmounsone, representing the committee, issued a notice to the chairman of the Vientiane Election Committee concerning the matter on February 12.
Associate Prof. Dr Outhanh is chairman of Xaysettha district’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry and was proposed for election by the district administration.
He was born on March 17, 1985, in Xaythany district and currently lives in Xaysettha district.
In the notice, the NEC referred to Article No. 12 of the Law on Election of National Assembly and Election of Provincial People’s Councils, which spells out the criteria to be met by election candidates. The committee also cited Article No. 16 on objections to candidature, and the notice of Vientiane’s Election Committee concerning constituency determination and the number of candidates.
The National Election Committee also referred to a decision issued by the Ministry of Public Security on February 12, 2021, which stated that candidate No. 6 from Xaysettha district did not meet the criteria as defined by the law.
The committee also cited complaints by voters concerning Associate Prof. Dr Outhanh Taylitthi’s qualifications.
Following the notice issued by the National Election Committee, Vientiane’s Election Committee will have to reprint about 629,000 ballot papers.
The day before the notice was issued by the NEC, the Department of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education and Sports wrote to the Department of Internal Security, Ministry of Public Security, to explain the reason for Mr Outhanh’s disqualification.
The education department said Mr Outhanh had asked officials to issue him with a doctorate degree in education. However, the department was unable to do so because there were doubts surrounding the authenticity of his existing master’s and doctorate degrees. The centres of education where he claimed to have studied were not registered by Thailand’s Ministry of Education, and their standards had not been approved by Thai authorities.
The Ministry of Education and Sports also said it had stopped authorising teaching titles in 2012. The ministry refused to acknowledge the titles of associate professor and doctor in relation to Mr Outhanh, saying that the educational institutions where he had studied did not comply with Lao higher education standards or Lao laws.
According to a Vientiane official, who asked not to be named, the Vientiane Election Committee will soon hold a briefing to explain Mr Outhanh’s withdrawal from the list of election candidates.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
February 16,

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