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Will Thaksin and the Thai Rak Thai party finally bow out of the picture?

Updated On: Jun 27, 2006

Given the debacle surrounding the purported fraud of the TRT party, there have been a whole slew of conflicting articles about Thaksin’s next strategies.

The Election Commission has recently endorsed a report which found that the ruling party had committed electoral fraud by bribing small parties to contest the April 2 elections to circumvent the 20% constituency-vote constitutional requirement, thereby violating Article 66 of the Political Party Act. This provision allows a party to be dissolved if it is found to have subverted “the democratic system and constitutional monarchy, or for acquisition of executive power by unconstitutional means, or for committing any act deemed a threat to national security, public order, or ethics and morality”, the Bangkok Post reported.

It also stated that “if the OAG decides to indict TRT and the Constitution Courtrules against the party, TRT will be disbanded”. The result is yet to be announced.  

Meanwhile, Thaksin has lost two of his top legal experts who have helped him wriggle free of legal messes like accusations of corruption or lese majeste, and over controversial bills. Visanu Kruengarm,a deputy prime minister, and Borwornsak Uwanno, secretary-general of the cabinet, have both resigned in the past two weeks, leaving Thaksin without crucial legal support. They are believed to have left office at the instigation of an unnamed influential public figure.

It is uncertain what Thaksin aims to do next. For one, earlier media sources reported him as being “demoralized” and “tired of fighting a proxy war”.

However, Thaksin has bounced back and declared the battle is far from over, insisting, “The party has done nothing wrong so how could it be dissolved?” He has also asked his political adversaries to respect the King’s wishes for unity and cooperation, while making light of Visanu’s resignation, claiming that “there were several others to fill the vacant seats”.

In any case, the Thais are anticipating a new era”. 59% of the 2,168 respondents in Abac's latest poll of 14 provinces looked at TRT’s dissolution as a way forward for Thailand’s democratic development, with 23% hoping that the Election Commission would “step aside to facilitate a resolution to the political crisis”, while another 18% hoped for events such as “a military coup, a new election, the departure of caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, or the improved performance of independent organizations” to herald the end of a stalemate.

As it stands now, the only thing certain about Thai politics is the uncertainty.  Given the confusion and continued political wrangling, most Thais do not believe political stability will return within the next six months.

Sources:

Thaksin to lead party to the polls (Bangkok Post, 26 June 2006)

Thaksin's foundation continues to crumble (Bangkok Post, 26 June 2006)

There is work to be done, says PM (The Nation, 26 June 2006)

'Moral' Prem, 'capable' PM top Abac poll (The Nation, 26 June 2006)

Embattled TRT 'not afraid of law' (The Nation, 25 June 2006)

PM appears willing to accept fate (Bangkok Post, 24 June 2006)

Thai Rak Thai fraud case decision delayed (The Nation, 24 June 2006)

Senate heads for row on EC motion  (The Nation, 24 June 2006)

Voters look forward to new era  (The Nation, 24 June 2006)

Twilight of a premiership  (The Nation, 24 June 2006)