BANGKOK, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's Supreme Court on
Tuesday convicted former House Speaker and deputy leader of Thailand's ruling
People Power Party (PPP) Yongyuth Tiyapairat on vote-buying charges and disqualified him as
a member of parliament (MP).
The Court on Tuesday afternoon took two hours to read out the verdict, which upheld an earlier ruling by the Election Commission (EC) to disqualify Yongyuth as an MP.
Yongyuth was found guilty of bribing a group of local administration heads in Mae Chan district of his home province Chiang Rai in northern Thailand during last December's general election to ensure the electoral victory of his sister La-ong who contested as a MP candidate.
Yongyuth won a seat in the 480-member House of Representatives as a candidate of People Power Party (PPP), and was elected as the House Speaker and President of Parliament on Jan. 22, after the PPP declared victory in the Dec. 23 election.
Yongyuth had denied the charges, but later resigned from the House Speaker on April 30 after the Supreme Court accepted the case.
Besides losing the parliamentary seat, Yongyuth also faced a five-year ban from electoral process.
The conviction of Yongyuth, as former party leader of PPP, will also give ground to the EC to appeal to the Constitutional Court to dissolve his party, which now led the six-party coalition government in line with the 2007 Constitution.