The Constitutional Court has rejected a complaint submitted by members of the Democrat Party to have the Pheu Thai Party dissolved.
The Democrats claimed that by holding the February 2 election while parts of the country were placed under the emergency decree, Pheu Thai caused the election to be unfair and not free. The court, by a majority ruling, said there were insufficient grounds to conclude that the imposition of the emergency decree during the election violated Article 68 of the Constitution as claimed by the complainants – Wirat Kalayasiri, former Songkhla MP for the Democrat Party, and Paiboon Nititawan, former Democrat party-list MP.
Article 68 of the charter stipulates that it is one’s right to protect the Constitution and also prohibits any act that would seek change or the obtaining of power through unconstitutional means.
The article also permits dissolution of political parties found to have done this, and can ban party executives from participating in political activities for five years.
In a related development, the court also rejected a complaint filed by a member of the Pheu Thai Party, Singthong Buachum, accusing the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) and its affiliates of wanting to overthrow the political system. The court said the charges could be laid against figures within PDRC, or specific actions by the movement which violated the criminal code or other laws – but the right to freedom of assembly is guaranteed under the Constitution and the PDRC protest stemmed from its opposition to the government’s bid to pass the blanket amnesty bill.