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

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid