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Pattaya Daily News

13 April 2010 :: 11:04:51 am 18100

Thai PM to Fight New Election Commission Findings

The Thai Election Commission (EC) has found that the Democrat Party received excessive campaign payments during the 2005 election which constitute a severe breach of the Thai constitution. EC Deputy Secretary-General Thanit Sriprathet stated that the EC would now follow the appropriate procedures recommending that the Abhisit led Democratic Party be immediately dissolved and fresh elections called.
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Bangkok, the 13th of April 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: The findings come after Prime Minister Abhisit made a live broadcast on national television on Monday, stating that he and the government would do everything possible to segregate the peaceful protesters from the ‘terrorists’ that inflicted violence and death upon Saturdays Red Shirt demonstrations. The latest footage to develop shows various masked men, dressed in black, opening fire on the crowded rally using M79 grenade launchers, M67 hand grenades and machine guns including AK47 assault rifles to inflict widespread panic, death and destruction on the event.

The Red Shirts were protesting for dissolution of parliament and a return to democracy, constantly stating that the current Abhisit government was in breach of the constitution as they had not been democratically elected into power. The vast majority of Red Shirt protesters are from Thailand’s north and north-eastern rural communities who are also strongly aligned to fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Although thus far the rallies have been largely unsuccessful in their attempts to force the Prime Ministers resignation, it seems as if the latest findings by the EC may have achieved the victory, the announcement of the EC’s findings was broadcast to the Red Shirt protesters still encamped in Bangkok to a chorus of applause and apparent jubilation.

EC deputy secretary-general Thanit Sriprathet revealed that the evidence suggests the Democratic Party, during the 2005 election campaign, received an amount totalling Bt258 million from the petrochemical firm TPI Polene. This donation is far in excess of the legal amount and is therefore a breach of the constitution. Consequently, the TPI Polene founder Prachai Leophairatana was also former leader of the Neutral Democratic Party, the Matchimatipatai Party. The Democrat Party is also accused of misusing a Bt29 million allocation from the EC’s political party development fund.

As a result of these findings the Democrat Party now faces dissolution and its executives could be banned from politics for five years if it is found guilty. The EC will now forward the case to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) for consideration and then to the Constitution Court for a final verdict.

If the OAG agreed with the EC, it could immediately send the case to the Constitution Court, but if the OAG has a different opinion, a joint committee would be set up to consider the case with the process lasting no longer than 30 days. A key Democrat spokesman said that the Party and Mr Abhisit is aware of the EC’s decision, stating that the case was not yet over. He said that the Party would definitely fight the decision.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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