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Thai Court Orders Ruling Coalition to Disband

Posted December. 03, 2008 05:19,   


Thailand’s Constitutional Court yesterday disbanded the ruling People Power Party and two other parties belonging to the ruling coalition government, and banned scores of elected politicians of the three parties from politics.

As Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat and his Cabinet are now forced to step down, the nation’s political uncertainty that started in May are likely to aggravate further.

The court said, “The PPP, Chart Tai Party and Matchima Thipataya Party colluded in bribing voters in the general election held in December last year.” It also banned the leaders of the three parties from politics for the next five years. Chat Chonlaworn, head of the nine-judge court panel, said, “Dishonest parties damage Thai democracy.”

Wongsawat in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai said he will accept the decision, saying, “My duty is over. Now, I am just an ordinary citizen.”

After the decision, Thailand’s anti-government group People’s Alliance for Democracy, which has occupied two airports, announced that it would allow take-off and landing of all airplanes.

The Thai parliament will elect a new prime minister Dec. 8. Deputy Prime Minister Chawarat Chanweerakun will lead the government until then.

PPP spokesman Kuthep Saikrajang said, “The PPP’s 216 lawmakers who were not banned from politics will create a new party called the Pheu Thai Party, meaning a party for the Thais, and vote for a new prime minister.”

Bangkok will also postpone the ASEAN regional summit from December 15-18 to March next year.