An election commissioner said the court will rule on whether the previous bankruptcy of People’s Alliance for Democracy founder Sondhi Limthongkul prohibits him from serving as executive of a political party.
The election commisioner in charge of political party affairs, Sodsri Sattayatham , said the legal team of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, or PAD, has applied for registration of a political party.
Sodsri said the PAD’s legal team told her that the group would use Panthamit or the People’s Alliance for Democracy as its party’s name. She said the Election Commission would determine whether the name and the party’s regulations are legal.
Sodsri said the court will determine whether the bankruptcy of PAD core leader Sondhi Limthongkul, who is expected to serve as leader of the new party, would legally prohibit him from taking the post. The court will also examine the party’s other executives and election candidates.
The election commissioner advised all of the PAD’s five top leaders to wait until pending criminal charges against them are resolved to avoid possible future legal problems if they assume executive posts within the party.
She also said the commission would examine the PAD’s use of mass media outlets under Sondhi’s control. The Constitution bans politicians and political parties from running media businesses for political purposes.
Sodsri also cautioned the PAD to conduct its political campaigns more carefully, noting that political parties are not allowed to stage non-parliamentary moves.
Law Expert: Sondhi Eligible to Lead PAD Party
law professor says Sondhi Limthongkul, a core leader of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, or PAD, is eligible to lead a political party even though he was legally bankrupt in the past. Meanwhile, a leading economist says he believes the PAD’s plan to form a political party will benefit the country.
Kittisak Prokkati , a lecturer at the law faculty of Thammasat University, said Sondhi Limthongkul, a founder of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, or PAD, is legally eligible to be a member of a political party, member of Parliament or even a party leader because his bankruptcy status ended in 2003.
However, Kittisak said the criminal allegations now pending against Sondhi may create problems for him if he is elected a member of a political party or member of Parliament. He said Sondhi would be forced to resign from his political post if he is found guilty of any criminal charges.
Most of the charges against Sondhi stem from the PAD’s extended anti-government demonstrations last year.
Commenting on the PAD’s plan to create a political party, Kittisak said it is the right of all Thais to do so. However, he said there is a difference between political parties created by politicians and those established by the people. He said parties created by politicians end up serving those politicians while those created by the people tend to balance the power of the government.
Meanwhile, Thanawat Polvichai , director of the Economic and Business Forecasting Center at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the PAD’s forming of a political party will further develop democracy in the country.
Thanawat said the PAD’s move to set up a party is a good sign for the country’s democratic development. He said the party will enable the PAD to change politics through parliamentary means, adding that he did not think it would hurt the current government’s stability.
Thanawat added that the PAD’s party would give voters an extra choice at the polls.
However, he expressed concern about the future move of the anti-government Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship, saying the red-shirt group lacked clear position on politics.