Thai Nation Party
|Thai Nation Party
Chart Thai Party
|Leader||Pramarn Adireksarn (1974-1986; 1992-1994)
Chatichai Choonhavan (1986-1991)
Banharn Silpa-archa (1994-2008)
|Founded||November 19, 1974|
|Dissolved||December 2, 2008|
|Succeeded by||Chartthaipattana Party
|Politics of Thailand
Thai Nation Party, or Chart Thai Party (Thai: พรรคชาติไทย, RTGS: Phak Chat Thai) was a conservative political party in Thailand. It was dissolved by the Constitutional Court of Thailand on December 2, 2008, along with the People's Power Party and the Matchima party, for having violated electoral laws in the Thai general election, 2007. Thereafter, most MPs founded the Chartthaipattana Party (Thai Nation Development Party), which became the Thai Nation Party's successor.
Foundation, electoral successes, and government
The Thai Nation Party was founded in 1974 by Chatichai Choonhavan, son of Field Marshal Phin Choonhavan, and his in-laws Pramarn Adireksarn and Siri Siriyothin, who were at the time major-generals like him. The three belonged to the "Rajakru clan", a military, economic and political interest group established by Field Marshal Phin. The party represented the rightist and pro-military wing of Thai politics during the relatively liberal and democratic years from 1973 to 1976. During the campaign for the election in April 1976, the party called for “the Right to kill the Left”, and party chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Pramarn declared in a cabinet meeting on October 6, 1976 that it was the right moment to destroy the student movement, which was eventually executed in the Thammasat University massacre. In the subsequent elections 1976, 1979, 1983 and 1986, the party consistently was the second-strongest party.
In the general election of 1988, the Thai Nation Party won the most votes, resulting in its late leader Chatichai Choonhavan becoming the prime minister. Chatichai was the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Thailand in over a decade. Chatichai was deposed by a military coup d'état in 1991. After return to democracy in 1992, the Thai Nation Party became the main opposition force against the Democrat-led government of Chuan Leekpai. The party won the 1995 elections and its new leader Banharn Silpa-archa was Prime Minister, until his government coalition broke in November 1996. After new elections, Chart Thai was in opposition against the short-lived government of Chavalit Yongchaiyudh. In November 1997, it joined a seven-party coalition supporting Democrat Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai.
During the Thaksin premiership
In the 2001 elections, the Thai Nation Party won 41 out of 500 seats and formed a coalition government with the largest party, the populist Thai Rak Thai, formerly led and co-founded by tycoon Thaksin Shinawatra. The party lost some seats in the 2005 elections, despite the support of the popular politician Chuwit Kamolvisit. The party won 11.4% of the popular vote and 27 out of 500 seats. Due to policy conflicts, the Chart Thai Party subsequently defected from the coalition with the Thai Rak Thai party. The party, along with the 2 other largest opposition parties, boycotted the elections of April 2006 hoping to make it impossible for a new Thai Rak Thai-led government to form.
After the 2006 coup
The Thai Nation Party participated in the 2007 general election and won 8.87% of the vote (37 of 480 seats), coming in third after the People Power Party (led by former Thai Rak Thai members) and the Democrats. In January 2008, the Thai Nation Party joined the PPP and five others in the six-party coalition government.
Along with the coalition members People Power Party and Matchima, the Thai Nation Party was dissolved by the Constitutional Court on December 2, 2008, with party executives banned from Thai politics for five years, amid charges of electoral fraud during the 2007 election. The non-executive MPs of the parties were given 60 days to defect to new or existing parties. MPs from the Chart Thai and Matchima parties announced that they would stick with MPs from the PPP party in forming a new government, but failed to do so due to the party dissolution. Thereafter, most former Chart Thai MPs and members convened to found the Chartthaipattana Party (Thai Nation Development Party), which since 2008 is part of the coalition government.
- General Pramarn Adireksarn (1974-1986)
- General Chatichai Choonhavan (1986-1991)
- Air Chief Marshal Somboon Rahong (1991-1992)
- General Pramarn Adireksarn (1992-1994)
- Banharn Silpa-Archa (1994-2008)
- Carpenter, C. (2007), "Thailand: Government", World and Its Peoples: Myanmar and Thailand (Marshall Cavendish): 667, retrieved 26 January 2012
- Maisrikrod, Surin (1992), Thailand's Two General Elections in 1992: Democracy Sustained, Institute of South East Asian Studies, p. 11, retrieved 26 January 2012
- Ungpakorn, Giles Ji (2003), "From the city, via the jungle, to defeat: the 6th Oct 1976 bloodbath and the C.P.T.", Radicalising Thailand: New Political Perspectives (Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University): 7, retrieved 26 January 2011
- Background Note: Thailand, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State, retrieved on 26 January 2012
- Mishra, Patit Paban (2012), The history of Thailand, ABC-CLIO, p. 17, retrieved 26 January 2012
- Thailand's Supreme Court clears way for PPP to form coalition gov't, Xinhua, 2008-01-19, accessed on 2008-01-19
- Bangkok Post, Allies to stick with PPP, 2 December 2008
- AFP, Thai court dissolves ruling party, 2 December 2008