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Thai "yellow-shirts" seeks to register as political party
Updated: 2009-05-14 19:10

BANGKOK - People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), or yellow-shirts, has filed to Election Commission (EC) its request to register as a political party, EC Secretary-General Suthipol Thaweechaikarn said Thursday.

The request was filed on April 24, Suthipol said, adding the commission is verifying the party's statement of policies and its rules to ensure they abide by the law. This process would finish within 30 days.

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A PAD representative told the EC on April 24 that its party will be called "Pak Pantamitr Prachachon Pheupracha Thippatai" (People's Alliance for Democracy, PAD), though commissioner Praphan Naikowit said this name will be under scrutiny to make sure it does not cause confusion or mislead the general public.

The PAD is an political group that opposes the ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra as well as the last two Thaksin-affiliated administrations, and it gained worldwide notice last year when the yellow-clad PAD protesters besieged two Bangkok airports for nine days as a leverage to force then Prime Minister Somchai's government to dissolve.

On April 17, PAD co-founder and core leader Sondhi Limthongkul became a target of assassination when a group of gunmen spattered bullets at his car. Sondhi suffered head injuries but survived the hail of bullets.

Sondhi on May 3 said in a press conference that some "senior military officials" were masterminds behind the murder attempt. PAD later announced they are going to set up a new political party.

Chuan Leekpai, chief adviser of Democrat party - the party that leads the current Thai coalition government - refused to comment on Thursday when asked if he thought the formation of the PAD party would bleed off support for the Democrats as supporters of his party tend to be the same group as the PAD supporters.

He said only that new political parties are often set up after old ones are dissolved.