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Two coalition parties charged with electoral fraud


April 12, 2008

Two coalition parties charged with electoral fraud

Thailand’s Election Commission on Friday resolved by majority vote to ask the Constitution Court to dissolve two coalition political party partners - the Chart Thai and Mahachimathipataya parties - charging that they had committed electoral fraud in the general election last year.

The election body will forward its decision to the Office of the Attorney General, which has 30 days to file the case in the Constitution Court. If prosecutors refuse to take the case, the Election Commission could file the case before the court itself.

The top leaders of both parties testified before the elections' commissioners with additional information in bids to fight for their political survival Tuesday.

The dissolution would deal a heavy blow for both the 34-year-old Chart Thai party under the helm of former prime minister Banharn Silpa-Archa and the Matchimathipataya party, led by Anongwan Thepsutin, the wife of Somsak Thepsutin, a banned executive of the dissolved Thai Rak Thai party, which was formed prior to last year's general election.

The Chart Thai party, which won 37 seats in the election, is the second largest party in six-party coalition government led by the People Power Party, while Matchimathiptaya won seven seats.

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