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Pattaya Daily News

04 December 2010 :: 14:12:55 pm 47170

Democrat Party asks Court to consider EC authority on dissolution case

BANGKOK, Dec 4 -- Thailand’s ruling Democrat Party has submitted documents to the Constitution Court urging it to consider whether the political party registrar and the Election Commission (EC) are empowered to file a case regarding the Bt258 million donations to the party by a private firm, a Democrat Party lawyer said.
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Lawyer Chaivat Triyasunan said Chuan Leekpai, Democrat Party advisory chairman, on Thursday assigned him to submit two documents to the Constitution Court urging it to consider whether political party registrar Apichart Sukhagganond, who is also EC chairman, and the Election Commission itself, are permitted to perform the duties they claim as within their jurisdiction in filing the dissolution case against the party.

The Constitution Court is scheduled to sit for the first hearing Thursday on the Bt258 million donation to the Democrat Party which exceeded the legal limit by TPI Polene, a leading Thai cement manufacturer, founded by former Matchimatipatai Party leader Prachai Leophairatana in 2005.

The upcoming lawsuit will be second after the Democrat Party on Monday won a case on alleged misuse of Bt29 million ($960,000) in political campaign funding.

The six Constitution Court judges voted 4:2 to dismiss the action against the country’s oldest political party, saying the filing complaint process lodged by the EC was unlawful, sparking criticism among some groups including the opposition Puea Thai Party over what they claim is a double standard.

The Constitution Court rejected the first dissolution case against the Democrats on grounds the case was filed with the court after the 15-day legal deadline of learning about the alleged offence.

Mr Chaivat said there are several ways for the Court to rule, including the ruling could be made as soon as all witnesses have testified, or the court may agree with the Democrat Party’s request and dismiss the case.

He said it is up to the Constitution Court to decide.

Mr Chuan, a former prime minister, elaborated that the request submitted to the Constitution Court was not meant to pressure it to drop the case but rather asking it to interpret the legality whether both the political party registrar and the EC are empowered to file a dissolution case against his party. (MCOT online news)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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