The Bangkok Post has the amazing news – yes, the Constitutional Court can still amaze – “has ordered the 416 lawmakers and cabinet ministers who voted in support of charter amendment drafts to justify their decision.” All 416!
This is the judicial equivalent of mass bullying. Each and every one of these 305 government MPs, 75 senators, 35 cabinet members and the House speaker is now judicially threatened for doing something absolutely legal and constitutional! They have 15 days to submit their statements.
While critics may have “slammed the move as an attempt to meddle with the legislature’s authority,” is is far more than that. The judges at the Constitutional Court have become convinced that they are the monarchy’s saviors and are trampling all over law, justice and even constitution.
The manic court’s “instruction came after the charter court accepted yellow shirt [People’s Alliance for Democracy] co-leader Chamlong Srimuang’s petition questioning if the charter rewrite proponents might have violated Section 68.”
Article 68 of the military’s constitution which states:
No person shall exercise the rights and liberties prescribed in the Constitution to overthrow the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State under this Constitution or to acquire the power to rule the country by any means which is not in accordance with the modes provided in this Constitution.
Of course, in the past, it has been the military that has thrown out previous constitutions, including Chamlong’s own military faction attempting this twice during the 1980s. And, the bill presented to parliament has nothing to do with any change other than to meet opposition demands for a broader process for changing the constitution.
This truly bizarre court wants all the statements so it can decide if the grinning “Chamlong’s petition should be combined with five complaints that also question the legality of the charter amendment bid.”
Puea Thai Party MP and legal expert Pirapan Palusuk expressed horror that the court even accepted Chamlong’s petition. Pirapan stated that “the move comes despite criticism that the court has no authority to accept such a petition directly.” Certainly it doesn’t, but now that it has already done it, it keeps doing it. The court is simply making law and procedure as it pleases, vastly expanding its powers. Parliament doesn’t matter as its power is now usurped by the judiciary.