Democrat dissolution or “double standards” again?

The Election Commission made a sudden move and announced that they voted 4-1 to recommend dissolving the Democrat party.

Not a lot of details are available at the moment so this is just a small conspiracy theory from me.

The elites have done it again – used the judiciary power to solve the political stalemate, hoping that reds might declare a victory and tone down their protest just like yellows did in 2008.

The “double standard” is that they might know the case is not going anywhere and their today’s decision does not mean anything.

It has to pass through the Attorney General’s Office first where it could be sent back for further investigations or consultations, then it would be passed on to the Constitutional Court. That alone could easily take half a year, and then Democrats might successfully defend themselves and it would all be for nothing.

If reds indeed decide to call it a day, they would be duped.

As for the case itself, with the available information I can’t imagine how the whole Democrat party can possibly be dissolved. So far there have been no links between the party executives and the alleged donations. I would readily agree that the money indeed was meant for electoral campaign but it didn’t go through Democrat’s official books or any kind of central authorities. It all went to the relatives of selected individual MPs.

So far there’s no evidence that party executives knew anything about the donations at all, especially the current party leadership – the secretary-general who was supposed to be responsible for these things is with another party now and the then party leader has long resigned, too.

Read the details on Bangkok Pundit, that’s the best account I’ve ever seen.

Apart from that – what law exactly they would apply in this case? Think of it for a second – the electoral law that was in place in 2004-2005 does not exist anymore. Last time it was applied was to TRT dissolution case, under the interim constitution that went out of the way to keep it in place after the coup.

PPP was tried for offenses committed when laws stemming from 2007 constitution were firmly in place, and they are stricter than the previous version. They can possibly frame the charges as offenses valid under previous laws, but how can they decide on punishment? Current law has no leeway on involvement of party executives, for example, dissolution only. When the alleged offenses were committed, on the other hand, that wasn’t the case at all.

What about the statue of limitations for electoral offenses? We are talking five years, a coup, three elections and five governments ago, under the leadership that is not there anymore! What about people who are executives now but weren’t then?

It would be interesting too see how the EC presents the case. until then we can only speculate.

Back to the conspiracy – reds are being told that Democrats are finished and they can go home, only to find out a few months later that it was all just talk.

I don’t think they will buy it, though.

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6 Responses

  1. I think you might be on to something here – we know that the judiciary can produce whatever result is needed at the time, and sound legal principles are not a limiting factor in Thailand.

    Kudos for blogging your take on it, as it doesn’t really fit with your usual barracking style:)

  2. I really don’t think the EC’s bluff is going to work.

    There’s so much to take in, by all sides – the deaths, the “terrorist snipers”, Anupong’s turnaround, faltering coalition, EC’s announcement.

    There could be a sneaky way out, but, perhaps, Abhisit will still have to do the right thing – enforce the law, put the reds under control, and talk about way out together.

    Reds still don’t get it, though – that they have to coexist and share the same country with the Democrats and Abhisit and Prem and the army, they are still in a “my way of highway” mood.

    Btw, I’ve just looked through the spam folder and recovered five legitimate comments and pingbacks on posts going back at least a month. I should probably turn the darn thing off and deal with spam on a case by case basis.

  3. “So far there‚Äôs no evidence that party executives knew anything about the donations at all”

    Apparently 29M baht that was distributed by the EC to the Democrat party was misused, which is a bit hard to explain because those funds were paid directly to the party and are administered by the party executives. Bye bye Democrats.

  4. I seriously doubt they could charge Democrats with misuse of official EC funds.

    Those were properly put through their accounting books. If there was any double book keeping they should not only prove it existed, but also that everyone in the party was in on it.

    In TRT case that’s what happened – Chaturon admitted to the court that everyone in the party, from Thaksin down, knew of the case yet done nothing in a year that passed. There was no unambiguous “collective responsibility” clause then – involved or not, you get banned.

    I bet 99% of the current executive board can come out and say – we knew nothing about it, there are official records with official signatures and that was all kosher as far as we are concerned.

    Besides, how exactly the illegal donations case turned into misuse of EC funds?

    I’m not arguing pro-Democrats here, just saying that on the current evidence the case is a likely no go.

    Reds, btw, didn’t buy it and continue rallying.

  5. Good call out on this blatant attempt by the EC (and it’s minders) at providing the perfect cover for delaying the house dissolution such that all the other cards in the deck can be strategically placed before the inevitable ballot box changing of jockeys.

    • Actually, after reading the paper, I found out that the EC made TWO rulings. One, 4-1, on illegal donations case, and another, 5-0, on misuse of EC funds. There’s Abhisit’s signature approving some party expenses that happened during Bandthan reign so he could be held personally liable if the paperwork is not in order.

      First time the EC guy made a ruling (January?) was to drop both cases altogether.

      Democrats will announce their defense team and strategies next week.

      Until then – happy Songkran

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