Pattaya Daily News

02 December 2010 :: 09:12:52 am 46971

Thai Opposition Looks to 2011 Elections After Court Ruling

On Monday, a senior Thai judge read the Constitutional Court's ruling to drop a case against the governing Democrat Party. The court ruled that the Attorney General's office had been too late in filing charges that the Democrats had misused campaign funds. A decision against the party would have thrown the government into disarray, but the Democrats, led by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, now still remain at the core of a multi-party coalition government that came to power two years ago.
Advertise Here

Democrat spokesman Baranaj Smutharak stated that the verdict was based on a fair interpretation of the law. He said: “The party can now shift its focus back to where it should be, that is solving the country’s problems.”

The ruling came as no surprise to Kudeb Saikrajang, a former government spokesman and a supporter of the opposition Puea Thai Party, who thinks the Attorney General’s office should be held accountable for the case being dismissed. The ruling did not determine if the Democrats had breached election laws, says Kudeb.

He said: “What we want to know is whether there are irregularities in the case, [if] the Democrats have done something wrong? If they have done nothing wrong, okay. ”

The ruling has however allowed the political focus to turn to elections expected next year. According to Chris Baker, an author and commentator on Thai history and politics who recently met with the opposition Red Shirt supporters in their stronghold in Northern Thailand, no-one took much notice of these cases anyway. He said: “They knew it wouldn’t make any difference. They are very much concentrated on when the election will be and how that will be managed.”

The government must hold elections by the end of next year. Some political analysts have said that Red Shirt politicians are likely to win.

Despite this week’s court ruling, the Democrats face another charge over allegedly receiving more than $8 million in an undisclosed donation from a Thai businessman. Party leaders claim they are innocent and that the funds were never received.  A verdict in that case is expected in the next few months.

The Democrat Party, Thailand’s oldest political organization, took office in 2008 after court rulings ousted two governments aligned with Thaksin Shinawatra, a former prime minister. He was ousted in a 2006 military coup. Mr. Thaksin remains influential here, and is particularly popular in rural areas and among the urban poor and working class.

Thousands of opposition supporters, known as the Red Shirts, this year staged mass protests in a bid to press the government to hold early elections. The Red Shirts, many of whom back Mr. Thaksin, occupied central Bangkok for more than two months before the army forced them out. About 90 people, most of them civilians, died during the protests.

Most of the Red Shirts are now focusing on preparing for the next election, says Chris Baker, an author and commentator on Thai history and politics who recently met with Red Shirt supporters in their stronghold in northern Thailand.

“Nobody took any notice of these cases at all,” said Baker. “They knew it wouldn’t make any difference. This stuff doesn’t matter. They are very much concentrated on when the election will be and how that will be managed.”

The government must hold elections by the end of next year. Some political analysts have said that Red Shirt politicians are likely to win.

Despite the court ruling this week, the Democrats face another charge over allegedly receiving more than $8 million in an undisclosed donation from a Thai businessman. Party leaders say they are innocent and that the funds were never received.  A verdict in that case is expected in the next few months.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

Comments in News


    
CAPTCHA Image
*

The messages you read here are opinions from the public and posted into the Forum automatically. The systems owner is not responsible for any content in the Forum or any comments posted. There is no proof that the contents posted are genuine or not, even if the name of the poster is real, th erefore, please use common sense when reading the Forum. If there are topics which are against the law or immoral, please contact webmaster@pattayadailynews.com