With several updates: Democrat Party gets off

29 11 2010

It isn’t surprising news: The “Democrat Party survived a legal challenge Monday that could have seen it dissolved and a new government formed after the Constitutional Court dismissed a charge that it misused an election fund. The court ruled the case brought by the Election Commission had not followed proper legal procedure — a point the party stressed in its defense. The ruling was likely to meet widespread criticism that the court applied double standards, as previous verdicts have run against the Democrats’ political opponents. If found guilty by the court, the party could have been disbanded and about 40 of its executives — including Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva — banned from politics for five years, forcing the formation of a new government.”

Update 1: Bangkok Pundit has two posts on the Democrat Party dissolution case (see here and here). The Thai Report has several links on its left-side column.

The Bangkok Post has a report here, with Parinya Thewanarumitkul, deputy rector of Thammasat University, quoted as saying “the EC’s failure to comply with the 15-day time frame was unexpected and was an important lesson for the EC.  Even though the case has now been dropped, members of the public are still in the dark over whether the Democrat Party had actually misused the grant, Mr Parinya said.  He said the court ruling yesterday might have implications on the other case in which the Democrat Party is accused of receiving an undisclosed donation of 258 million baht from cement giant TPI Polene.  Mr Parinya said the Democrat-led coalition government would face mounting pressure from its opponents, including the red shirt movement and the Puea Thai Party, now the court has spared it from dissolution.  He said the charter court has now freed itself from any predicament as the pressure has been shifted to the EC which failed to submit the case in time.”

The Post has more reporting on the reaction from business, at the stock market and from the opposition. It also has one of what is likely to be a number of opinion pieces.

The Nation has several stories, including an opinion piece: “After months or speculation, anxiety and anticipation, the Constitution Court simply declared there was no case.” It has a story on Chuan’s role. His comments are worthy of attention when he says: “the EC filed the case with the court after death threats by anti-government red shirts. Meanwhile, the Department of Special Investigation started the case under political influence during Samak Sundaravej government…”. He goes on:  “It took years for the conspiracy attempts under Thaksin’s regime to reshuffle personnel and interfere with independent organisations…. spelling out what he called an ‘evil legacy’. It is interesting that the Democrat Party, which has engaged in a campaign more determined than Thaksin to purge the ranks of all organizations making political decisions. Likewise, his statement that the “EC legal team also selectively presented biased information and resolved to dissolve Democrat Party” is interesting given the standards used in the case against the Thai Rak Thai Party and the People’s Power Party. Chuan says: “When people threaten to burn your homes or take your lives, fear is understandable…”. In one of the very few references to the disgraceful videos of Constiutututional Court corruption, Chuan added t”hat now such intimidation and pressure had shifted to the Constitution Court.  Pheu Thai Party intentionally violated the law so that Constitution Court judges sued them and therefore had to withdraw from the case, Chuan charged.” He continued:  “If the case is prolonged, we don’t know how many of the judges will be out of the case…”.

For more on what the Economist called “court shenanigans,” see here and here.

The Nation also reports on the role of the EC and a piece on government that concludes: “Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva appears invincible…”, but warning of more challenges ahead.

It would have been appropriate for some of the media cited here to have taken more time to consider the corruption of the court. Maybe that will come in the next few days but seems indicative of how double standards come into play on “critical decisions” that might impact the establishment’s core political position.

Update 2: Bangkok Pundit has a round-up on international reporting of the “great escape.” PPT wonders how Andy Pornprinya, senior vice president for regional institutional sales at UOB Kay Hian Securities (Thailand) considers “Thailand’s political risk is reduced big time with today’s ruling” (as cited at Bloomberg). We would have thought that political temperatures would rise again through another demonstration of double standards at work. After all, this result was predicted some time ago.


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30 11 2010
Abhisit visits the king | Political Prisoners in Thailand

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[…] predictably getting off on the first case against it in the Constitutional Court, the news is already out on the second case against the ruling Democrat Party, due to begin […]

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[…] is the second case dismissed on a technicality. Double standards? Pravit’s failed state scenario? Whatever the diagnosis, the twin decisions […]

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[…] in the court, blocked access to the leaked videos and attacked those leaking the videos, then got off two cases of its own on technicalities, while burying the corruption in the Constitutional Court. […]

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[…] now and the Democrat Party government didn’t do anything wrong (see here, here, here and here, just as a few examples of Kavi’s […]

20 08 2012
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[…] now and the Democrat Party government didn’t do anything wrong (see here, here, here and here, just as a few examples of Kavi’s […]




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