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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 189th session
(Bern, 19 October 2011)
The Governing Council of the InterParliamentary Union,
Referring to the case of the abovementioned former members of the Parliament of Thailand, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/189/11(b)R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 188th session (April 2011),
Taking into account the information note provided by the Thai delegation to the 125th IPU Assembly (October 2011),
Recalling the following information:
 On 30 May 2007, the Constitutional Tribunal dissolved Prime Minister Shinawatra’s Thai Rak Thai Party and banned the party’s entire executive committee, including 111 members of parliament, from participating in politics for five years; the decision was ostensibly based upon a finding that two executive members of the Thai Rak Thai Party were guilty of bribery in the April 2006 elections;
 Following the dissolution, former Thai Rak Thai members founded the People Power Party (PPP); in the December 2007 elections, the party won 233 out of 480 seats and set up a coalition government under Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej;
 On 2 December 2008, the Constitutional Tribunal decided to dissolve the PPP and its coalition partners, the Chart Thai and Matchima Thipathai parties; the PPP was dissolved and its executive committee, including the parliamentarians concerned, disqualified on the basis of violations which former House Speaker Yongyuth Tiyaparat was alleged to have committed in the runup to the 2007 general elections; as regards its two coalition partners, one member of each of their executive committees was found guilty of votebuying,
Also recalling that the Constitutional Tribunal was set up in the aftermath of the military takeover of the country in September 2006 and based its decisions on legal provisions that were adopted when the military was in power; these include Announcement 27, which empowers the Constitutional Tribunal to revoke for five years the electoral rights of members of the executive committee of any party which had been dissolved for committing an act prohibited under the Organic Act on Political Parties, even if the alleged misconduct had occurred before the military takeover; moreover, it includes Section 237 of a newly adopted Constitution, which gave the Constitutional Tribunal the power to dissolve any party whose executive committee included at least one politician found guilty of fraud by the Election Commission of Thailand and, concurrently with the dissolution, ban the party’s entire executive committee from voting and holding elective office for a period of five years,
Further recalling that, in July 2009, a parliamentary committee appointed to explore constitutional reform reportedly proposed amending Section 237 by removing the provisions allowing the Constitutional Tribunal to disenfranchise party executives not accused of wrongdoing; the source states that similar proposals were put forward by a governmentappointed Constitutional Reform Committee in October 2010, although none of the proposals were adopted by the National Assembly,
Considering that parliamentary elections took place in Thailand on 3 July 2011 and brought to power the Pheu Thai party, which obtained a majority of seats and whose leader, Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra, formed a coalition with four smaller parties,
Considering that, in its information note, the Thai delegation stated that reconciliation was a priority matter for the Government and that several measures, including support for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, had been taken to that effect; that, in addition, the amendment process of the current Constitution was being widely discussed and that the sections relating to the dissolution of political parties would be carefully reconsidered on the basis of Thailand’s international human rights obligations and respect for democracy,
Bearing in mind that Thailand is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Articles 22 and 25 of which protect the right to freedom of association and the right to take part directly in the conduct of public affairs,
 Reiterates its condemnation of the disbarment of 175 then parliamentarians in connection with alleged offences for which they were not responsible and on the basis of the retroactive application of legal provisions that were arbitrary and incompatible with Thailand’s international obligations;
 Deeply regrets therefore that, as a result, their parliamentary mandates were curtailed by up to four years, hence depriving their electorate for the same long period of representation in Parliament, and that they were prevented from standing in the recent parliamentary elections;
 Considers, however, that in the light of their exclusion from those elections a fully effective remedy is no longer available; and decides therefore to close its further examination of the case;
 Reaffirms nevertheless its belief that, so long as Announcement 27 and Section 237 of the Constitution remain in force, the risk exists that a sizeable portion of the country’s political class may once more be arbitrarily excluded from the political process; is therefore gratified to note that, according to information provided by the Thai delegation on the occasion of the 125th IPU Assembly, in the constitutional amendment process under way, particular attention will be paid to ensuring that the rules governing the dissolution of political parties are in line with democratic principles and Thailand’s human rights obligations;
 Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the competent authorities and to the source.
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