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Pattaya Daily News

02 December 2008 :: 11:12:00 am 39815

Court Moves Political Party Dissolution Case to New Venue to Avoid Protest

BANGKOK, Dec 2 - Thailand‘s Constitution Court judges have moved their consideration of the ruling party‘s dissolution case Tuesday to the Supreme Administration Court in the Chaeng Wattana area after hundreds of "Red Shirt" group - the pro-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) demonstrators surrounded the office of the Constitional Court in an attempt to bar the judges from entering the office.
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The People Power Party, Chart Thai and Matchimathipataya parties have been charged with electoral fraud and, if found guilty, would have to be dissolved.

The final hearing in the case, which could result in the disbanding of the ruling People Power Party and two coalition partners, began at 10 am at the Supreme Administrative Court.

Banhan Silpa-archa, Chart Thai Party leader was the first to give the closing statement for the case to defend his party against charges that it was involved in electoral fraud punishable by party disbandment.

The People Power Party and the Matchimathipataya Party did not participate in the session.

Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, in his capacity asPeople Power Party leader, would consequently be banned from politics for five years as imposed in the Constitution if his party found guilty of electoral fraud.

Apart from Mr. Somchai, all 37 executives of the People Power Party would likely be given similar punishment.

The case has proceeded amid a demonstration by hundreds of pro-government supporters.

The judicial panel moved from the Constitution Court to the Supreme Administrative Court after it was known that the Constitution Court judges has decided to relocate its session to the Supreme Administrative Court. The pro government supporters were protesting the imminent verdict which they assume to be leading to the party’s disbandment.

However the verdict, if announced as predicted, is not the end of the road for the People Power Party though.

The Constitution allows MPs of a dissolved party to move to another party within 60 days in order to retain their parliamentary seats.

A new political party is waiting to welcome them, the Puea Thai Party which was registered by some members of the People Power Party.

Under such a scenario, the majority of MPs in the three disbanded parties would move to their new homes while the disbanded parties’ executives would be banned from politics for five years.

There is, however, some leniency in the Constitution. The government bloc would not necessarily lose its seats in the House because MPs of the People Power Party could move to the Puea Thai Party.

A few names have surfaced in the political discussions of the past few weeks as potential replacements for prime minister Somchai at the helm of a new government controlled by the ongoing coalition bloc. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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