PPP lives on

(BangkokPost.com)

The ruling People Party power won at least a delay in its demise on Tuesday when a split Election Commission put off a decision whether to order the party dissolved.

After setting Tuesday as decision day, the EC decided to put off its ruling on the dissolution case for two weeks.

It will now try to reach a vote on the issue on Sept 2.

Suthiphon Thaveechaiygarn, the EC secretary-general, said the body would still have to meet again next Tuesday to allow its fact-finding panel in charge of the case more time to defend their recommendation. More documentation also is required.

The EC is trying to decide whether to order the party dissolved to take responsibility for election fraud by one of its officers last December.

The Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions ruled on July 8 that former PPP executive Yongyuth Tiyapairat was guilty of electoral fraud.

Members of the EC argued that the actions of Yongyuth, PPP deputy leader at the time, should be regarded as a personal wrongdoing and the party should not be dissolved as a result.

While there is high drama around the EC deliberation, there will be little immediate effect if the agency votes - as expected - to dissolve PPP. Its members will join another political party already in legal existence.

Transport Minister Santi Prompat said that the recently established Puea Thai party was for PPP MPs to move.