A few days ago, at The Nation, it was reported that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra “urged the Constitution Court to provide a way out of the constitutional impasse, saying the country cannot move forward if the highest law is not amended to ensure justice, democratic principle and bring about international confidence in the country’s legal system.” This came after she learned that the unelected junta spawn in the Senate, the mostly unelected 40 yellow-hued royalists, were making yet another effort to prevent change to the constitution according to the very rules established by that junta’s flunkies.
Worse, the Court agreed to hear their legal fairy tale. But this is no surprise as this is a politicized and corrupt court.
These 40 senators have opposed every reform effort by each elected Thaksin Shinawatra-aligned government in recent years and they see the Constitutional Court as their allies. This time they are asking the (kangaroo) court for a “ruling to suspend the amendment of Article 68 and Article 237 of the Constitution.”
The junta spawn have also “warned that coalition MPs and pro-government senators might be removed from office for enacting a bill to amend Article 68 of the Constitution.” Somehow Senator Paiboon Nititawan, an unelected senator – of course he is! – was reported in The Nation as threatening that “if the Constitutional Court ruled that an amendment to Article 68 was unconstitutional, MPs and senators who voted for the amendment, might be regarded as having violated the charter.”
None of this makes any sense to PPT if we read the constitution itself, which clearly states at Section 191 that the constitution can be amended by a majority of both houses of parliament. What the royalists and unelected charge is that an amendment of certain sections of the junta’s constitution will infringe the part of that section which states: “A motion for amendment which has the effect of changing the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State or changing the form of State shall be prohibited.” Of course, amending Section 68 doesn’t infringe on this and nor does amending Section 237.
However, the junta spawn are not engaged in logical or legal debate, but in political conservatives and undemocratic chicanery. As we show below, at least one constitutional court judge -its dim-witted president – is already agreeing with the royalists.
Pichit Chuenban, a Puea Thai Party “legal expert … said Constitutional Court judges themselves would face a criminal probe for violating the charter by accepting the complaint against Somsak and the 311 other defendants” who the junta spawn and a bunch of other royalist groups planned to charge for some trumped-up “crime.” Other Puea Thai parliamentarians threatened tit-for-tat retaliation against the Constitutional Court, showing just how silly the legal situation has become.
Pheu Thai MP from Ubon Ratchathani, Somkid Chueakong, said he and his colleague Worachai Hema would file a complaint with the police at Thung Song Hong Police Station today against the Constitutional Court for abusing its power. It was interfering in the legislative branch’s power while it should not have accepted to rule in the case filed by Somchai.
Entirely on cue, the People’s Alliance for Democracy has “threatened to rally against the proposed charter changes, saying they were aimed at protecting the vested interests of politicians.” PAD has lawyers at work to “seek more legal venues to bring offenders to justice…”.
And isn’t it just a bit too coincidental that t every time something like this happens, the king exhorts judges to continue to defend the nation. He’s done it again.
Meanwhile, we are not surprised that the apparently dull and exceptionally biased Constitutional Court President is uninformed about (seemingly) everything?
At The Nation Wasan Soypisudh is cited as demanding that the “coalition government to heed minority opinions…”, something the government has been doing since its landslide election victory in July 2011. Wasan implied that the elected government had been “corrupted by power” and may “use its majority to force through legal amendments in an attempt to perpetuate its hold on power.” In other words, this judge has already made his decision on the case! And he seems not to care one iota that everyone knows this. His statements are a travesty for the judiciary in Thailand, which sinks further into a swamp of political bilge each time Wasan opens his mouth.
Wasan then shows that he is ignorant of history when he is cited as babbling that:
Adolf Hitler, Germany’s dictatorial leader of the 1930s and ’40s, as an example of one who abused a popular majority to perpetuate his power, which ultimately led to disaster for Germany. After Hitler’s party won an election, the Constitutional Court president said, it abused its majority by amending laws to preserve power, after which the German leader led his country to defeat in World War II.
The Nazis never won an electoral majority or the majority of parliamentary seats in any election, except in November 1933, “All opposition parties had been banned by this time, and voters were presented with a single list containing Nazis and 22 non-party ‘guests’ of the Nazi Party.” That situation also applied in 1936 and 1938 when the Nazis held “elections.” Additionally, Hitler never won a majority in a presidential election.
Wasan is then reported as saying that “Article 68 of Thailand’s Constitution seeks to protect the Constitutional Monarchy system, and was also modelled on the German charter…”. We suppose that Wasan knows that Germany is a republic?
Wasan also said something about the courts needing to be”non-partisan agencies in order to mediate disputes,” and yet his own words appear to condemn him as partisan in the extreme. He added to this clear partisanship by reciting a PAD version of recent political history.
Wasan seems clear on what his job is: to support the unelected and undemocratic in Thailand.