[JURIST] Thailand's Election Commission [official website] on Monday called for the dissolution of the ruling party for failing to report donations and alleged misuse of those donations. The Commission's decision [AP report] comes amid some of the deadliest political clashes Thailand has experienced in nearly two decades, as Thai protesters, or red shirts [BBC backgrounder], call for new elections and the resignation of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva [official website, in Thai; BBC profile]. Thailand's chief of the army, General Anupong Paojinda, has given his support [Bangkok News report] to the opposition's call for new elections in a hope that dissolution will provide an end to the current standoff between the Abhisit government and the opposition. The Commission's decision requires the approval of the Constitutional Court to become final, and a date for the hearing is yet to be set.
A Thai court on Friday issued arrest warrants for at least 17 high-profile protesters in an attempt to put down violent protests [JURIST report]. Among the accused are top leaders [TNA report] of the red shirt opposition. Warrants were also issued Thursday for seven members of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship for their role in allegedly breaking into Parliament [Bangkok Post report] during protests Wednesday. After the break-in, Abhisit declared a state of emergency [JURIST report] in Bangkok and several nearby provinces. Abhisit said he hopes that the arrest of the high-profile leaders will cause other protesters to disperse [BBC report].