News / Asia

Thai Election Commission Recommends Dissolution of Ruling Party

Decision, which the Constitutional Court must approve, says PM Abhisit Vejjajiva's Democrat Party guilty of misusing donations

Daniel Schearf

Thailand's election commission has said the ruling party of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva should be dissolved over allegations of illegal donations.  The decision was made amid growing pressure on the government after violent clashes between anti-government protesters and soldiers left 21 people dead.

The commission says the Democrat Party of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is guilty of misusing donations and should be disbanded.

The decision will first have to be endorsed by the Constitutional Court, which authorities say could take several days.

Democrat Party spokesman Buranaj Smutharaks says the party will fully cooperate with the due process of the law.

"We are confident that that ruling will not occur because we have always maintained that we have fully complied with all laws concerning the uses of funds during the election campaign," Smutharaks said.

The Democrat Party was accused of accepting a multi-million dollar donation in 2005.  Thai laws limit political donations to a few hundred thousand dollars a year.

Last week, anti-government protesters stormed into the election commission saying it was too slow in ruling on the case.

The commission's recommendation adds further pressure to the beleaguered prime minister.

At least 21 protesters, soldiers and a journalist were killed Saturday when his government ordered security forces to end a month-long anti-government demonstration.  The protesters, known as "red shirts," paraded some bodies of those killed through the capital on Monday.

They blame the soldiers for the deaths and are demanding Mr. Abhisit step down and call new elections.

In a national broadcast, the prime minister said a small group among the protesters was responsible for the violence.

He says they can see clearly that a group of people acted like terrorists and were among the group of democracy protesters.  He says the group wanted a big change in the government.

Mr. Abhisit said he is still willing to negotiate a solution with leaders of the protesters, which they have rejected.

The government has been under serious pressure to resign since March when tens of thousands of protesters poured into Bangkok.  The demonstrations turned to civil disobedience and lawlessness last week when protesters occupied a main commercial center and briefly broke into the parliament building and a satellite relay station.

The government declared an emergency and then tried, unsuccessfully, to clear some of the demonstrators, resulting in the deaths and injuries.

The "red shirts" are mainly from the countryside and say the government was brought to power by traditional elites in Bangkok, backed by the military rather than popular vote.

Many of the "red shirts" support former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra who was ousted by the military in 2006.  He lives in exile to avoid a prison sentence for a corruption conviction.

You May Like

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Activists for Peace Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified boarder, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs