Author Topic: Democrat seeks Pheu Thai dissolution  (Read 637 times)

Offline Johnnie F.

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Democrat seeks Pheu Thai dissolution
« on: July 09, 2011, 07:18:24 AM »

Democrat seeks Pheu Thai dissolution

Songkhla MP alleges that banned politicians took part in campaign

The Democrat Party's legal expert yesterday filed a petition with the Election Commission (EC) asking it to recommend that the Constitution Court dissolve the Pheu Thai Party for allowing banned politicians to take part in its election campaign.

The Democrat MP-elect for Songkhla, Wiratana Kalayasiri, said members of the now-defunct Thai Rak Thai party were believed to have taken part in Pheu Thai's affairs such as selecting MP candidates and creating policies under the slogan "Thaksin's ideas, Pheu Thai's action".

Quoting Article 97 of the Political Party Act, which prohibits banned politicians from founding or being executives of a political party for five years, Wiratana said the Pheu Thai Party should be dissolved, and ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and former Thai Rak Thai leader Chaturon Chaisang banned for another five years.

"Just this May, the EC resolved that a party can be dissolved if a banned executive continues behaving as if he is an executive of the party," Wiratana said.

He also asked the EC to consider whether Pheu Thai could face dissolution on the basis of former executives of the now-defunct People Power Party, Somchai and Yaowapa Wongsawat, joining Yingluck Shinawatra's election campaign. Yingluck is Pheu Thai's top party-list candidate and a front runner for the prime minister's post.

In a separate development, EC secretary-general Suthiphon Taveechaiyagarn said yesterday that the discrepancy between party-list and constituency votes was commonplace in every election. This could be partly attributed to absentee voters casting advance ballots via post.

With each voter obliged to cast two ballots - one for a party-list and one for a constituency MP - poll watchdogs are questioning the large discrepancy in numbers.

Suthiphon said absentee voters, particularly Thais living abroad, were entitled to post their ballots in lieu of showing up in person, and many might have just put one ballot instead of two in the envelope. He said the EC would soon discuss the issue and find ways to avoid this discrepancy in the future.

Senator Jittipoj Viriyaroj, who represents the Northeast province of Si Sa Ket, said on Thursday that his senatorial panel had noticed a difference of 83,000 votes cast for constituency MPs and party-list MPs. He said the difference was very large and that the EC had to explain this irregularity to the public.

As for the EC's approval of elections results scheduled on Tuesday, Suthiphon said the commission should give the green light to MP candidates who do not face any complaints.

Meanwhile, the EC's Nakhon Ratchasima branch has passed along a complaint against Yingluck because she gave voters the noodles she cooked while campaigning. It has submitted its investigative report and the EC will consider the case on Tuesday, Suthiphon said.

The Nation