Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Thai Constitutional Court Dissolves Ruling Party and Bans Prime Minister From Politics for Five Years
The Constitutional Court of Thailand issued a unanimous ruling today that banned Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat from politics for five years. The Constitutional Court's ruling also dissolved the ruling People Power Party (PPP) and two other coalition parties (Chart Thai and Matchimathipataya) over charges of voting fraud. The presiding judge read the order live on Thai television.
The verdict said the People Power Party had to be disbanded because PPP executives had been convicted of vote fraud after elections in December 2007. The court ruled that although some party officials had no knowledge of the election fraud, the party had to scrutinize its leaders and could not deny responsibility for the electoral fraud. Click here to read more from the Bangkok Post. And click here for a further analysis of the situation from the New York Times.
The court's decision came as anti-government protesters occupied Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports. More than 350,000 travelers were reportedly stranded.