Ombudsman on the job

17 10 2012

The Nation applauds the Ombudsman’s Office for being politically biased. In its article on the suddenly active agency, it is argued that “a series of high-profile probes launched over the past year…”.

Yes, in the past year, the Ombudsman’s office established in 1999, “the least talked about, at one point even seen as so insignificant as to be at risk of disbandment” has suddenly been activated. Former charter writer Kanin Bunsuwan notes hat the Ombudsman’s “teeth and claws” were “hidden” in the military junta’s 2007 Constitution. They remained hidden until the Yingluck Shinawatra government was elected. Since then, the teeth and claws have been bared.

Since that election, the Ombudsman “has examined Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s ethics for skipping a House meeting…”,  investigated “the qualifications of PM’s Office Minister Nalinee Taveesin and Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Natthawut Saikua…”, and have investigated Thaksin Shinawatra having a passport. The investigation of Natthawut was because he is a red shirt.

The picture of how the Ombudsman’s Office is being used is exemplified by People’s Alliance for Democracy and New Politics Party leader Somsak Kosaisuk. He filed the complaint over Thaksin’s passport, because that “agency had proven itself to be neutral and to make trustworthy decisions.” It seems that “neutral” for the yellow shirts means targeting the Yingluck government while being deliberately somnolent on the previous Abhisit Vejjajiva regime.


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