August 17, 2008

Dismemberment and Thai Politics

It's been a tough few months for some people; the cartoons below capture something of the situation. This week, the Election Commission of Thailand may consider recommending the dissolution of the Democrat Party, after one of its executive members admitted distributing free movie tickets. Also in the pipe line is the case against the governing People's Power Party, after executive member Yongyuth was found guilty of electoral fraud.

It's hard to see how anything can be achieved by pursuing the dissolution of parties on the basis of actions by individuals - the dissolution of Thai Rak Thai by the Constitutional Tribunal in 2007 being a case in point.

Of course, the constitutional article (Article 237) on this matter doesn't stipulate that a party must be dissolved if an executive member is found guilty of electoral fraud/corruption, only that the Constitution Court consider the matter.

In the mean time, with Thaksin in exile, the effort to undo the post-coup political settlement continues by anti-coup/pro Thaksin forces. The June 24th Democracy Group will this week commence a new round of protests to try and dislodge the National Counter Corruption Commission on the basis that its nine members were not royally appointed (they were appointed by the 2006 coupsters). It considers the NCCC and the entire post-coup legal and political order illegitimate, with the exception of the elected parliament.

(UPDATE 18th August) And on another front the campaign against Jaravan, the Auditor General, heats up. Citing Article 301 of the 2007 Constitution, Prachathat, the pro-Thaksin newspaper, has called for Jaravan to leave office. Article 301 stipulates that: "The selection for the State Audit Commission and the Auditor-General shall finish within one hundred and twenty days as from the date of appointment of the President of the House of Representatives and the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives after the first general election of members of the House of Representatives under this Constitution and, if the President of the Constitutional Court from the selection proceedings under this Constitution does not exist, the Selective Committee shall consist of the existing members."

Cartoon from Khao Sut 15th August. The text reprises Thaksin's assurance - after speaking to an astrologer - that after July 2nd everything would be okay.

Cartoon is from Naew Naa 17th August. A tree (People's Power Party) is cut down by a saw-wielding man (The Election Commission of Thailand).

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