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    Thailand Ruling Democrat Party Faces Possible Dissolution


    by NTDTelevision

    The ruling Democratic Party in Thailand could be dissolved. The country's election commission has put Party officials on trial for misusing government money during the 2005 election.

    A Thai court wrapped up a trial into alleged funding irregularities by the ruling Democrat Party on Monday. It has set the stage for a verdict that could complicate the country's long-running political crisis.

    The most dramatic outcome could lead to the dissolution of Thailand's oldest political party, with bans on as many as 31 of its executives from the period, including Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

    The country's election commission accuses the Democrats of misusing a grant of almost one million dollars for the 2005 general election.

    [Abhisit Vejjajiva, Thailand Prime Minister]:
    "If they claimed that we misused election campaign money or funds, the Election Commission will call the party to fix it, if it is not fixed then yes, they will conduct legal proceedings or dissolve the party. In the case of the Democrat party, the Election Commission has checked and approved the use of the funds in detail. There was no call to fix it."

    The Democrats have powerful supporters among royalists and the military, as well as a conservative business elite.

    Most analysts believe the chances the party will dissolve entirely are small.