Thailand mobilizes 13,000 troops for judgement day


Posted
:

Tue, 29 May 2007 03:30:00GMT


Bangkok- Thailand will mobilize 13,000 police and army personnel in
preparation for protests after a Constitution Tribunal ruling on the
country’s two largest political parties that face possible disbandment,
reports said Tuesday. Thai Army Chief General Sonthi Boonyaratkalin
said the troops will be mobilized to maintain law and order and prevent
violence from breaking out in Bangkok after the tribunal’s landmark
ruling on Wednesday, which will determine the course of Thailand’s
political future.

Sonthi, who led the September 19 coup that toppled elected premier
Thaksin Shinawatra last year, told a top security meeting on Monday
that the troops “must be unarmed,” said The Nation newspaper.

On Wednesday the Constitution Tribunal will rule on whether the Thai
Rak Thai party, set up by billionaire businessman-turned-politician
Thaksin, and the Democrats, the country’s oldest political party,
committed electoral fraud in the general election of April 2, 2006.

If found guilty the two parties could be dissolved and their executive committees barred from politics for the next five years.

Alternatively, only one party may be dissolved, which might prompt even
greater protests among their supporters, or the parties may not be
dissolved but their executives may be barred from politics.

Although both the Thai Rak Thai (Thais Love Thais) and Democrats have
vowed not to protest the verdict, various anti-coup groups have
threatened to hold demonstrations if the tribunal’s decision seriously
undermines the country’s already weakened political party system.

The verdict will have crucial implications for Thailand’s efforts to
draft a new constitution, currently underway, and on a general election
planned in December, this year.

“If they bar a significant number of politicians from holding office,
questions will arise about how meaningful the next election will be,”
said Abhisit Vejjajiva, current leader of the Democrat Party, which
celebrates its 61st anniversary this year.

Under Thailand’s fuzzy constitutional legislation it may still be
possible for both parties to register new parties under their old
names, Thai Rak Thai and Democrats, so the more serious outcome will be
to what extent politicians are barred from politics by the tribunal.

The Thai Rak Thai and Democrats claim about 14 million and 4 million
party members, respectively, which is sufficient for them to determine
the outcome of a referendum on Thailand’s 18th constitution that is
currently under debate.

The referendum will be held in late August or September. If the draft
constitution is rejected by the people, the Thai military will choose
one of the kingdom’s old constitutions in its place.

Prior to the 1997 constitution, which was abolished by the September 19
coup, previous charters allowed for appointed prime ministers, a
loophole that allowed military men to lead the government and control
Thai politics for six decades.

Go to Google News Home
Thai judges decide whether to disband parties
Scotsman, UK – 1 hour ago
By
Chalathip Thirasoonthrakul BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s top
constitutional judges met on Tuesday to decide whether to disband the
country’s biggest two

Foreigners warned as political turmoil threatens
NEWS.com.au, Australia – 2 hours ago
FOREIGNERS
in Bangkok were today warned to exercise caution amid mounting security
fears ahead of a landmark court decision over whether to dissolve
Thai judges decide whether to disband parties
Boston Globe, MA – 2 hours ago
By
Chalathip Thirasoonthrakul | May 29, 2007. BANGKOK (Reuters) –
Thailand’s top constitutional judges met on Tuesday to decide whether
to disband the
15000 troops on alert for court verdict
The Australian, Australia – 4 hours ago
SOME
15000 Thai troops were on alert across the country today as security
fears rise ahead of a court decision whether to dissolve the kingdom’s
two largest
Thailand Braces for Court Ruling, Further Unrest (Update1)
Bloomberg – 6 hours ago
By
En-Lai Yeoh and Beth Jinks. May 29 (Bloomberg) — The Thai government’s
effort to destroy the political power of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra
Thailand braced for leap into political unknown
Reuters India, India – May 26, 2007
By
Nopporn Wong-Anan. BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand is braced for a leap
into the unknown this week as a court decides whether to disband the
country’s top
Thailand braced for leap into political unknown
Boston Globe, MA – May 26, 2007
Thailand’s
Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont speaks during a news conference at the
Government House in Bangkok May 25, 2007. Thailand is braced for a leap
Foreign embassies in Thailand issue security warning ahead of
Hemscott, UK – 3 hours ago
BANGKOK
(XFN-ASIA) – Foreigners in Bangkok were warned by their embassies to
exercise caution amid mounting security fears ahead of a court decision
over
Top Thai Political Parties Await Court Ruling on Their Fates
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand – 4 hours ago
By
Grant Peck/AP Writer/Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand’s roller-coaster
politics of the past year and a half, which saw a popular civilian
government toppled
Thai politics enters its most confusing period
Gulf Times, Qatar – 4 hours ago
By
Peter Janssen. BANGKOK: Unpredictability has characterised Thai
politics for decades, but this year’s host of uncertainties has got
even the most
Thai Security Personnel Standby For Possible Violence
Bernama, Malaysia – 5 hours ago
BANGKOK,
May 29 (Bernama) — To prevent any outbreak of violence in the wake of
the possible political party dissolution verdict by the Constitutional
Thailand mobilizes 13000 troops for judgement day
Earthtimes.org – 6 hours ago
Bangkok-
Thailand will mobilize 13000 police and army personnel in preparation
for protests after a Constitution Tribunal ruling on the country’s two
Thailand braced for leap into political unknown
Financial Express, India – May 27, 2007
BANGKOK,
MAY 27 : Thailand is braced for a leap into the unknown this week as a
court decides whether to disband the country’s top two parties and ban
their
Top Thai political parties await court ruling on their fates
International Herald Tribune, France – 5 hours ago
AP.
BANGKOK, Thailand: Thailand’s roller-coaster politics of the past year
and a half, which saw a popular civilian government toppled by a
military coup,
Bangkok blocks access to Thaksin’s official Web site
Taipei Times, Taiwan – 7 hours ago
Thailand’s
army-backed government has blocked ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s
Web site amid heightened tensions ahead of a court decision on the
future
Thailand mobilizes 13000 troops for judgement day (Roundup)
Monsters and Critics.com, UK – 55 minutes ago
Bangkok
– Thailand on Tuesday mobilized 13000 police and army personnel in
preparation for possible protests against a Constitution Tribunal
ruling that
Judgment day in Thailand
The Standard, Hong Kong – 14 hours ago
Senior
Thai judges will this week decide whether to dissolve the kingdom’s two
largest political parties, with huge implications for the post-coup
landscape

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People’s Daily Online, China – May 26, 2007
Thailand’s
Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Saturday his party
members would respect a party dissolution verdict to be given by the



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