As readers will know, PPT hasn’t been following the rice pledging policy in any detail. We had an earlier post on political voice, regarding opposition to a bunch of yellowish academics and other hangers-on at the National Institute of Development Administration petitioning the royalist Constitutional Court on the policy and scheme. Their petition was rejected.
Now, however, the word seems to have gotten to the Group of 40, mostly unelected senators and a few of their brethren, all stridently anti-Thaksin Shinawatra (and opposed to the present government) that they should also petition the Constitutional Court on the scheme, with more hope of success.
The military junta’s 2007 constitution was blatant in its anti-democratic sections that included ensuring that the Senate would be representative of the interests of the conservative elite, whether their preferred party was elected or not. It seems that the decidedly yellow-shirted senators have again been activated in an effort to challenge the government on one of its core election promises, now being implemented.
The Bangkok Post reports that the demon-seed senators have petitioned the court “to rule whether the rice scheme needs parliamentary consent under Article 190 of the charter.” This is the section that has been used previously as part of the effort to undermine and eventually bring down the pro-Thaksin Samak Sundaravej government in 2008. That section reads, in part:
… A treaty which provides for a change in the Thai territories or the Thai external territories that Thailand has sovereign right or jurisdiction over such territories under any treaty or an international law or requires the enactment of an Act for its implementation or affects immensely to economic or social security of the country or results in the binding of trade, investment budget of the country significantly must be approved by the National Assembly. In such case, the National Assembly must complete its consideration within sixty days as from the date of receipt of such matter.
It is the yellow ones’ contention that claimed government-to-government rice trade deals constitute a “treaty.” In fact, most of these senators have been baying for government blood, claiming that there are no government-to-government rice deals, and the government is lying about them. Now they claim that these (non-existent) deals are the equivalent of a treaty.
There is no doubt the government should be more transparent on these claimed deals, but the shenanigans of the unelected should also be carefully scrutinized for the forces that are motivating them to nonsense claims. Of course, the Constitutional Court is not averse to upholding nonsense.