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Thailand high court takes election fraud case against main parties

[JURIST] The Thailand Constitutional Court [official website] agreed Thursday to hear arguments in a case against five political parties, including the ruling Thai Rak Thai [party website] party, the main opposition Democrats [party website], and three smaller parties, for allegedly "acting against democratic rule" during April's annulled parliamentary elections [JURIST report]. Last month Thailand's Election Commission [official website] unanimously recommended [JURIST report] that the five parties be prosecuted for breaking election laws [materials] when Thai Rak Thai paid the smaller parties to run candidates against it to satisfy minimum vote requirements. The Democrats are accused of illegally boycotting elections, and of conspiring with the smaller groups to convince Thai Rak Thai to bribe them.

Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [official profile; BBC profile] has consistently denied the allegations [JURIST report]. A new national election [JURIST report] is scheduled for Oct. 15, but Thaksin said it could be delayed because of the political turmoil. AP has more.

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