Possible dissolution of ruling party to change Thailand's political landscape?

19:18, July 14, 2010      

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The petition by the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) asking the Constitution Court to dissolve the Democrat party not only set the ruling party on fire, but also aroused a widespread speculation that a back-up party will or has been set up for the Democrat.

Abhisit Vejjajiva, the prime minister as well as the party leader, denied reports that members of his party are registering a "back-up" party in the face of the crisis. He also insisted there is no plan to dissolve the House prematurely even if his main coalition party is penalized by disbandment.

He was responding the formal recommendation the OAG filed Tuesday to the Constitution Court calling for the dissolution of the Democrat Party over an alleged illegal 258-million-baht (8 million U.S. dollars) donation case. The prosecutors also recommended the court ban from politics for five years all the party's executives who knew about but turned a blind eye to the receipt of the alleged illegal donation in 2005.

The party is also facing a charge of misusing a 29-million-baht (0.9 million U.S. dollars) grant in 2005 from the Election Commission's political development fund.

The guilty verdict, once given by the court, may shut some heavyweight Democrat MPs, even Abhisit, out of Thailand's political stage for five years.

As 9,000 pages of documents against his party from the prosecutors, carried by three pickups, arrived at the Constitution Court, the prime minister maintained cool, saying he has to look at the details of the case, though he already has a general idea of the party's defense.

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