[JURIST] Lawyers associated with Thailand’s outgoing ruling Democrat Party filed papers with the Election Commission on Friday [Bangkok Post report] challenging the Puea Thai party’s election victory. The filings seek to dissolve the Puea Thai party on grounds that the party’s campaign involved former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and other banned politicians. A spokesperson for the Democrat Party denied being involved [UPI report] with the legal challenge. Wirat Kallayasiri, a part of the Democrat legal team, stated that the Constitution prohibits executives from any disbanded party to be involved with any other party during the suspension period. Prime Minister-elect Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin’s sister, and her party, the Puea Thai party, emerged as the victors of the June 3 elections [BBC report] when it won a majority 265 seats in the 500 member parliament.
Thailand’s political system has remained unstable following the coup that ousted Thaksin in 2006 and the more recent violent protests took place in Bangkok last spring. In February, seven leaders of Thailand’s “red-shirt” [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] pro-democracy movement, another group that opposes the country’s current leadership, were released on bail [JURIST report]. They were arrested on terrorism charges stemming from their involvement in the anti-government protests [JURIST news archive] in Bangkok. In January, members of the movement also petitioned the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] to launch a preliminary investigation [JURIST report] into whether the government committed crimes against humanity during those protests