Saturday, August 16, 2008

EC to decide Tuesday if it will urge PPP be dissolved


EC to decide Tuesday if it will urge PPP be dissolved

The Election Commission will meet on Tuesday to decide whether or not to recommend the dissolution of the People Power party. The EC's inquiry panel working on the case finalised its report and presented it to the poll agency yesterday.

The report is now with EC chairman Apichart Sukhagganond, as the registrar of political parties.

Mr Apichart said he had looked at the report and had already had an opinion on the case based on the EC's decisions in the dissolution cases against the Chart Thai and Matchimathipataya parties.

Copies of the report have now been made available to the other commissioners, he said.

Election commissioner Sumeth Upanisakorn said if the EC chairman sees fit to forward the report to the Constitution Court through the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG), the EC chairman will ask the four other commissioners to endorse the report.

But if the other four commissioners disagree with the report's findings, the EC chairman will drop the case.

In the event the case is endorsed and sent to the OAG and the OAG has reservations about the report, an EC-OAG joint committee must be set up to study the case before reaching a final decision, Mr Sumeth said.

The PPP faces possible dissolution as its former deputy leader Yongyuth Tiyapairat was found guilty by the Supreme Court of buying votes in the Dec 23, 2007 general election.

Article 237 of the constitution provides for the dissolution of a party if an executive member is found guilty of violating election law and the party is found to be complicit in the offence.

Mr Sumeth added that members of a party which is ordered dissolved can move to a new party under the law on political parties.

Meanwhile, the Democrat party may also face the prospect of dissolution as its deputy leader Vithoon Nambutr is being investigated for alleged electoral fraud during the Dec 23 poll.

Mr Vithoon, an Ubon Ratchathani MP, was accused of giving away movie tickets in exchange for votes.

He testified to the EC's inquiry panel yesterday and denied the allegations.

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