Thailand’s fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on December 16 urged Chiang Mai residents to vote for the Pheu Thai candidate in December 20’s local election, triggering claims from his opponents that the move violates the Constitution.

In a Facebook video posted on December 16, Thaksin said Pichai Lertpongadisorn had visited him in Dubai before deciding to enter the election for Chiang Mai Provincial Administrative Organisation (PAO) president.

He said he wanted Chiang Mai residents to enjoy the same quality of life as when he was prime minister, adding that he missed Thailand.

“As someone who was born in Chiang Mai, I would like to support [Pichai] because he will to put all his effort into working for the province. Hence, I would like to ask Chiang Mai people to vote for Pichai on December 20,” Thaksin said.

The former prime minister said he would never forget the people of Chiang Mai and that he believes they miss him, too.

Responding to the video, lawyer and social activist Srisuwan Janya submitted a petition to the Election Commission asking it to investigate whether the move violated Section 28 and 29 of the Constitution’s organic law on political parties.

Sections 28 and 29 prohibit outsiders who are not members of a party from controlling or directing the party’s activities, directly or indirectly.

“Thaksin’s move to invite Chiang Mai people to vote for Pheu Thai’s candidate in the PAO election shows a connection between him and the party which violates the abovementioned law. [This means] the Constitutional Court can rule for Pheu Thai to be dissolved,” said Srisuwan, who heads a group called the Association to Protect of the Constitution.