Pitak Siam fails, judiciary steps up

1 12 2012

As PPT has pointed out in the past, the anti-red shirt/Thaksin Shinawatra/Puea Thai government alliance of royalists and neo-fascists has more than one string to its bow. While the Pitak Siam dinosaur rally might have been an embarrassing failure led by an embarrassing failure, this is not the end of the royalist fight to return government to the undemocratic forces of hierarchy and royalism. It has repeatedly been claimed and demonstrated that one of the main weapons for the royalists is control of the courts.

That control was initiated early in the current king’s reign as royalists sought to wrest the political loyalty of judges away from People’s Party leader Pridi Phanomyong, who had established Thammasat University. The palace’s coaxing, which included bringing former senior judges into the Privy Council, has been successful and in recent years we have seen the king repeatedly making political demands of the judiciary and heard coaching from palace figures to influence the outcomes political cases.

Hence it is no surprise to see that as soon as the Pitak Siam rally has fizzled out, the judiciary jumps back into the political action. Two cases illustrate this. The first involves the Criminal Court, which has revoked bail of Puea Thai party list-MP and red-shirt leader Korkaew Pikulthong “for violating his bail conditions.” The Bangkok Post notes that Korkaew is one of six United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship leaders charged under the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime as “terrorists” for their leadership roles during the red shirt rallies of 2010. Another 18 were charged with the same political “crime” that carries the death penalty.

Naturally, it was a Democrat Party MP Nipit Intarasombat who filed the petition asking the court to withdraw bail from red shirt leaders. Nipit is an ultra-royalist who has previous used lese majeste allegations against his political opponents. As the Constitutional Court sees itself as kind of royal-like and thus above all criticism, that Korkaew criticized it is cause for sanction, so he gets thrown in jail. Most regular readers will know that the Constitutional Court is politically-biased and corrupt. It is protected by this action in the Criminal Court and red shirts are suitably warned that they are not meant to criticize the royalist institutions.

To add to that warning, the Criminal Court dismissed the challenge to bail granted to other red shirt leaders but has moved to silence them, “banning them from speaking or taking part in political demonstrations and from leaving the country.”

Meanwhile, in another Bangkok Post story, the judiciary gets into the act again, with the Central Administrative Court halting Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat’s move to strip Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva of his military rank when the military investigated and found Abhisit “had used fraudulent documents to apply for and obtain a job as a lecturer at Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy.”

The courts continue to play royalist politics and their power cannot be underestimated in the royalist struggle to unseat yet another elected government and to “punish” red shirts.



2 responses

3 12 2012
Arisman sentenced « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] an earlier post we called attention to the failure of Pitak Siam and the ramping up of judicial activism. A […]

3 12 2012
Arisman sentenced « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] an earlier post we called attention to the failure of Pitak Siam and the ramping up of judicial activism. A […]

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