Bangkok, Dec.3 : Thailand's ruling People's Power Party has been dissolved and Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat has been dismissed from office by a court ruling on Tuesday after weeks of protests.
According to The Telegraph, the judgment was greeted with jubilation by anti-government protesters who overran Bangkok's airports last week, demanding that the government step down. "We have won a victory and achieved our aims," declared the protest leader Sondhi Limthongkul.
The People's Power Party, the Machima Thipatai party and the Chart Thai party were found guilty of committing electoral fraud in December 2007 that brought the coalition to power. Under Thailand's Constitution, any party convicted of election fraud must be dissolved and all its executive members banned from politics for five years.
Wongsawat, 61, was in office for less than three months. Accepting the court's verdict, he said:. "My duty is over."
However, supporters of the government are angry that the courts have twice intervened to topple a prime minister with a strong parliamentary majority in what they call a "judicial coup d'etat". Hundreds of supporters of the government picketed the court before the verdict and briefly managed to cut the building's power supply. They complained that the case appeared to have been fast-tracked and that some witness testimony had gone unheard.
So far seven people have been killed in six months of political tension and hundreds have been injured.