Political crisis

The Supreme Court on Tuesday backed an Election Commission ruling that influential ex-House speaker Yongyuth Tiyapairat committed fraud during campaign for the Dec 23 election. The verdict expels him from parliament and threatens the ruling People Power party with imminent dissolution.

After the verdict, PPP members began arguing whether to dissolve the House and call snap elections, a path reportedly favoured by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and several coalition party leaders.

Mr Yongyuth immediately lost his own Chiang Rai seat. He is barred from politics for five years.

The Supreme Court's Electoral Fraud Division ruled that Mr Yongyuth had attempted to bribe influential kamnan to back him and his PPP candidates in Chiang Rai. Mr Yongyuth's sister was earlier given a yellow card.