It looks like the royalist Constitutional Court is in the process of killing off yet another elected government. PPT is really distracted by other work, but this is from The Nation:
Update 1: At The Nation, the battle is on again:
Following the ruling against senatorial charter amendment bill, red-shirt leader Nattawut Saikaur declared that a new round of fight has begun.
Speaking at the red-shirt rally at the Rajamangala Stadium, Nattawut declared: “The bell of a new round of fight between the democratic force and extra-constitutional force have begun!”
Update 2: The Bangkok Post reports:
The Constitution Court on Wednesday ruled that the charter amendment seeking to alter the composition of the Senate violates the constitution.
Judges voted five to four that the amendment to make the Senate a fully elected chamber violates Section 68 of the constitution, which prohibits attempts to overthrow the monarchy and unconstitutional efforts to seize power.
That section states:
Section 68. 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.
In the case where a person or a political party has committed the act under paragraph one, the person knowing of such act shall have the right to request the Prosecutor General to investigate its facts and submit a motion to the Constitutional Court for ordering cessation of such act without, however, prejudice to the institution of a criminal action against such person.
In the case where the Constitutional Court makes a decision compelling the political party to cease to commit the act under paragraph two, the Constitutional Court may order the dissolution of such political party.
In the case where the Constitutional Court makes the dissolution order under paragraph three, the right to vote of the President and the executive board of directors of the dissolved political party at the time the act under paragraph one has been committed shall be suspended for the period of five years as from the date the Constitutional Court makes such order.
Clearly the Constitutional Court’s decision based on this section is horse manure. By rejecting “a request from the opposition that it consider dissolving government coalition parties and disqualifying MPs,” the court is seeking to avoid confrontation while maintaining the sanctity of the royalist-military constitution.
The court also voted six to three that the process used to pass the charter amendment was improper and violated Section 291 of the constitution.
According to the ruling, House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont and his deputies wrongfully cut short the time scheduled for the debate on the issue, denying MPs the right to speak on the draft law.
In making this decision, the court is allowing the opposition the right to filibuster endlessly on bills.
The final sentence in the report is the nail in the coffin:
The court said the charter amendment would give “politicians” total control of parliament, which would be a retrograde step for the country.
The retrograde step is in allowing a bunch of politicized judges make biased decisions in the interests of the conservative minority and for a junta-mandated constitution to stand. Recall that this constitution was proposed by a junta that came to power illegally and then made its own political rules.