Democrat Party MP: Parliamentary control worse than a coup

3 07 2012

PPT was going to post on a revealing statement by Democrat Party MP Witthaya Kaewparadai. However, Bangkok Pundit has an excellent post making most of our commentary superfluous.

Witthaya has “accused the ruling Pheu Thai Party of attempting to overthrow the court system. ” To PPT, the reverse seems more the case: the judiciary is again trying to overthrow an elected government.

Witthaya added:

As for the other courts that cannot be dissolved, they are aiming to grant parliament the power to appoint the chief of the Courts of Justice. This would be even worse than a military coup.

Of course, it is well known that Democrat Party stalwarts hate elections, not least because they can’t win them, and they treat parliament with contempt. The contempt has been demonstrated in several ways, most recently in attacks on the Speaker (see here and here). It is also well-known that the royalist Democrat Party has been in cahoots with the military in its 2006 coup and then when Abhisit Vejjajiva rode on the shoulders of military and judiciary to become prime minister in late 2008. Finally, we know that the judiciary remains critical to the royalists, including the Democrat Party, in seeking to overturn election results. That has been seen several times.

So why wouldn’t Witthaya think that an elected parliament is worse than rolling out the tanks! Not a democrat in sight at the Democrat Party.

We should add that Witthaya is no ordinary MP. He was Democrat Party Public Health Minister in 2009 when a corruption scandal erupted there that saw each and every one of the eight advisers resign. The scandal involved an 86 billion baht project, and it took Witthaya several weeks to respond.

When he did, the investigating committee quickly found corruption and claimed that politicians and senior officials had been involved in unusual procurement of medical equipment under the Thai Khemkhaeng stimulus package. This included budget allocations for hospital construction skewed in favor of some politicians’ constituencies and unnecessary procurement plans.

There was also evidence of direct intervention by Deputy Minister Manit Nop-amornbodiand who was also involved in a scheme to purchase overpriced ambulances. The latter case also involved the minister’s secretary. Witthaya resigned.

The Abhisit Vejjajiva government was meant to send the case to the National Anti-Corruption Commission. That’s the last PPT heard of it. We wonder where that case went. Readers can let us know by email.