BANGKOK, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's Office of the Attorney General on Friday petitioned the Constitution Court to dissolve the ruling People Power Party (PPP) on electoral fraud charges.
A spokesman of the Office said the Constitution Court will consider and rule on the petition. If the party is found guilty, all of its 37 party leaders and its executive committee will be banned from engaging in political activities for five years.
Currently, Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat is acting PPP leader after his predecessor Samak Sundaravej resigned from the party leadership post on Sept. 30.
On July 8, the Supreme Court ruled that former House speaker Yongyuth Tiyapairat, former deputy PPP leader, was found guilty of buying votes during last Dec. 23 general election, which saw PPP win most votes, and banned him from engaging in politics for five years.
Under Thailand's Election Law under the 2007 Constitution, which was drafted by a junta-appointed panel after the Sept. 19 military coup, if any executive member of a political party committed electoral fraud, the party could be dissolved.
If the PPP is dissolved, all current PPP MPs and cabinet ministers will lose their posts. But non-executive party members could apply to join a new party to run for the next election.
The case will be a duplicate of what had happened to former ruling party Thai Rak Thai (PPP), founded by ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by the Sept. 19, 2006 coup and now seeking asylum in Britain. The TRT was dissolved in May 2007 on electoral fraud charges and all its 111 executives, including Thaksin, were banned from politics for five years from then on. PPP was alleged as the reincarnation of TRT. It has sought amending the related articles in the 2007 Constitution but the efforts had been loudly boycotted by anti-Thaksin camps.
It is not necessary to set up a working team to coordinate with the EC in the case of PPP, unlike pending dissolution cases against two other smaller parties Chart Thai and Matchima Thipataya, both in the present coalition government led by PPP, the spokesman said, because the evidence against the PPP is "very clear."