20
Thursday
June 2019
2:59 AM IST
News Headlines
Home   | Main News   | Kerala  | National   | International  | Business   | Sports   | Entertainment   | Columns   | Offbeat   | About Deepika 
International News
Thai court dissolves Shinawatra-linked party over princess PM bid
 
Bangkok: A key party linked to Thailand''s powerful Shinawatra clan was dissolved Thursday by a court, just weeks before a general election, over its ill-starred bid to front a princess as a candidate for premier. Thai Raksa Chart, which is tied to ex-premiers Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra, proposed Princess Ubolratana as its prime ministerial candidate if its bloc emerged with a lower house majority after the March 24 election.

It was an unprecedented move in a constitutional monarchy where royals are officially above the political fray, and prompted a rare public rebuke by her younger brother, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who issued a royal command declaring the party''s move "inappropriate". Thai Raksa Chart was found guilty of committing an act "hostile to the constitutional monarchy" by the nine-member Constitutional Court, which unanimously voted to dissolve the party. Party executives -- including two Shinawatra family members -- were also banned from politics for a decade.

"The monarchy is above politics and to maintain political neutrality, the king, the queen and princesses can never exercise political rights by casting votes," judge Nakharin Mektrairat said at the end of an extensive ruling. The princess reacted to the news on Instagram, where she posts regularly. "I have heard the news. It is sad and depressing," she said. Dissolution is a blow to the prospects of the powerful Shinawatras winning a parliamentary majority at the polls.

Thai Raksa Chart was established to back up the Shinawatras'' main political vehicle Pheu Thai, which won the 2011 elections with a landslide. Conversely, its downfall -- the party lasted just four months -- is a major fillip to its army-allied rivals who are fielding current junta leader Prayut Chan-O-Cha as their candidate for premier. Thai Raksa Chart was set to compete in 174 constituencies with 108 candidates vying for seats through the party list -- a system to allocate extra parliamentary seats according to the proportion of votes they scoop up.

Grim-faced party executives, all dressed in black suits and led by party chief Preechapol Pongpanich, filed out of the Constitutional Court through the ranks of media. Fighting back tears, Preechapol told reporters the party was "extremely saddened" by the dissolution, a ruling which "will affect the rights and freedoms" of candidates and voters. The same court has disbanded two other parties linked to the Shinawatra dynasty -- and toppled two of its prime ministers -- in the last 13 years of political turmoil since Thaksin was booted from office by a coup in 2006.

The legal moves were "deja vu", said political analyst Thitinan Pongsudhirak of Chulalongkorn University, in a country trapped in a spin-dryer of short-lived civilian governments, bloody street protests and coups. The last army power grab toppled Thaksin''s sister Yingluck in 2014. There were tears among the smattering of die-hard Shinawatra supporters gathered near the court. "Can we have democracy? We have fought for it for more than 10 years," Oye, 51, told AFP, giving only one name.

Thais have powered Shinawatra-linked parties to government at every poll since 2001 only to be knocked down by the courts and coups. Pheu Thai''s electoral dominance was cast into doubt by a new electoral system designed by the junta to limit the number of seats it can win. The Shinawatras have one other party called Pheu Chart for supporters to transfer some votes. But Thursday''s court ruling raises the odds of a broad -- and potentially uncomfortable -- pro-democracy alliance as the only route back to power for the Shinawatras.

Future Forward, a new party whose billionaire leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit is an acerbic critic of the junta but not an natural ally of Thaksin, is emerging as an untested force at the polls. With 18 days to go, tension is rising. The country remains deeply divided between those who loathe the military and fear its return to office after elections, and the anti-Thaksin camp. Thaksin''s enemies accuse him of toxifying Thai politics with corruption and nepotism. He has been in self-exile since 2008 to avoid jail, but still draws adoration from the rural poor for his economic and welfare policies in a society with a chasmic wealth gap.


Russia, China block UN from saying NKorea violated sanctions
Trump launches 2020 re-election bid with mega rally, says 'Keep America Great
Record 70.8 million people displaced at end of 2018: UN
UK PM candidates fight it out for second place with Boris Johnson
UN calls for 'independent' probe into death of Egypt's Morsi
Trump says having 'extended meeting' with Xi at G20 summit
Hong Kong police clear streets as protesters move to park
Argentina, Uruguay restore power after massive blackout
Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong walks free, calls on leader to resign
Hong Kong leader apologises as massive rally chokes city
Gunmen on motorcycles kill 34 villagers in Nigeria: Police
Trump to raise Hong Kong protests with Xi at G20: Pompeo
China supports suspension of Hong Kong''s controversial extradition bill after massive protests
UK court sets Feb 2020 timetable for Assange US extradition trial
Trump blames Iran in tanker blasts, says sea lane not at risk
No debate set for Hong Kong bill after protests
Trump says would take foreign info on 2020 presidential opponent
Trump, Duda sign declaration to house thousand additional US troops in Poland
Pompeo refers to BJP slogan ''Modi hai toh Mumkin hai'' : Praises Modi, Jaishankar
Thai junta chief proclaimed second-time prime minister
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Madame Tussauds unveils Priyanka Chopra figure in UK
 London: Madame Tussauds London on Tuesday revealed its first figure of Bollywood star Priyanka Chopr  
Saif's 'Jawaani Jaaneman' goes on floors
It's been a tough journey: Arjun Kapoor opens up about battle with obesity
Esha Deol, Bharat Takhtani welcome second child together
KERALA NEWS
Kerala CPM leader's son booked for rape, cheating
 Mumbai: A Kerala CPM leader's son has been booked on charges of rape and cheating following a compla
Two workers killed in Kerala as earth caves in
Two workers killed in Kerala as earth caves in
Joseph terms Jose K Mani''s election unconstitutional, says ''crowd'' can''t elect chairman
NATIONAL NEWS
Modi wishes good health, long life to Rahul Gandhi on his birthday
 New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday wished good health and a long life to Congress
Goa CM may induct Dy Speaker Lobo in cabinet
PM to set up a committee to look into One Nation, One Election initiative
Over 2.4k HIV deaths in Maha in 11 months: Minister
Untitled Page
Rashtra Deepika LTD
Copyright @ 2019 , Rashtra Deepika Ltd.