‘Buddha’s Teaching’ Party Cleared of Exploiting Religion

Image: People’s Reform Party / Facebook

BANGKOK — A party under fire from Buddhist groups for citing Buddha’s teachings as the basis for its policies has been cleared of malfeasance by the Election Commission.

In a brief statement, the commission said Tuesday it deliberated on the complaint filed against the People’s Reform Party and ruled it did not violate any election regulations.

Filed earlier this month by a group calling itself the Center for Coordination of Buddhists, the complaint urged officials to disband the party for making improper use of religion in its marquee campaign declaration.

“We humbly receive Lord Buddha’s teachings and apply them to finding solutions for the people’s grievances,” reads the party’s many campaign posters.

Speaking to reporters earlier this month, party leader Paiboon Nititawan said his faction sees Buddha as a role model for its moral crusade against corruption and abuse of power.

Filing complaints to disqualify rival parties has become the new normal since the election date was announced in January. A spokesman for the court said it has received over 100 requests to invalidate contenders for alleged legal violations. The Election Commission expects the number will only rise in the weeks remaining before the March 24 poll.