Another step towards the judicial coup

3 04 2014

The “creeping coup” as we dubbed it many months ago, is continuing. The Bangkok Post reports the latest move, which sees the royalist Constitutional Court accepting a case against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra that will have it ruling within about two weeks.

The case accepted by the kangaroo court involves the transfer of then National Security Council head Thawil Pliensri in 2011 and his reinstatement by the Supreme Administrative Court a couple of weeks ago. The court has “affirmed its authority to consider the Thawil case that was submitted by a group of senators led by Paiboon Nititawan.” This unelected senator is a regular petitioner to the Constitutional Court and a member of the anti-Thaksin Shinawatra group of appointed senators with royalist and military ties.

Based on the Supreme Administrative Court’s decision, the petition claims Yingluck “violated Section 266 (2) and (3) and Section 286 when she signed the order transferring Mr Thawil to be prime ministerial adviser in 2011. It asks the court to rule if she must leave her post as stated in Section 182.” The relevant sections are listed below:

Section 266. A member of the House of Representatives and a senator shall not, through the status or position of member of the House of Representatives or senator, interfere or intervene the following matters, directly or indirectly, for the benefit of his own or other persons or of political party:

… (2) the recruitment, appointment, reshuffle, transfer, promotion and elevation of the salary scale of a government official holding a permanent position or receiving salary and not being a political official, an official or employee of a government agency, State agency, State enterprise or local government organisation;

(3) the removal from office of a government official holding a permanent position or receiving salary and not being a political official, an official or employee of a government agency, State agency, State enterprise or local government organisation….

Section 268. The Prime Minister and a Minister shall not perform any act in violation of the provisions of section 266, except the performance of powers and duties for the administration of State affairs as stated to the National Assembly or as provided by law….

Section 182. The ministership of an individual Minister terminates upon:…

(7) having done an act prohibited by section 267, section 268 or section 269;

The Post states that Paiboon’s petition claims “the transfer was not in the public’s best interests, but is an attempt to find a position for ex-national police chief Wichean Potephosree so the government could appoint its own man to the police chief’s job.”

In fact the whole situation over the police chief’s position goes back a considerable way and involves military, police and palace meddling during the period of the Abhisit Vejjajiva government. Abhisit was dead keen to have his man as police chief, and Wichien was selected for his political credentials and to prevent the rise of  Pol Gen Priewphan Damapong, “the elder brother of Khunying Potjaman na Pombejra, Thaksin Shinawatra’s ex-wife.”

In other words, the political decisions by the Abhisit regime, which were never really challenged or taken up by the biased judiciary and “independent” agencies or royalist-military senators, and which were overturned by the incoming and elected government, are now challenged.

The Supreme Administrative Court “said the prime minister’s judgement [PPT guesses the signing of the transfer] was unlawful and ordered Mr Thawil reinstated. The transfer orders were not in line with government policies announced in parliament.”

Yingluck “will have 15 days to lodge her defence after getting a copy of the petition.”

The Constitutional Court route to bringing down the government is considered by royalists as the best route. It is certainly faster than the National Anti-Corruption Commission rice-pledging scheme kangaroo court and is more likely than an impeachment in the Senate that requires a two-thirds majority.

Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng noted that this route was the one the royalist preferred, observing that “the Constitutional Court has so far ruled as it pleases, rather than going by the charter.” He’s right on that. And, he sees a ruling likely this month.

Royalist Senator Paiboon claimed that he “expects the court to make a decision in two weeks because the case is not complicated and there is no need to hold further hearings.” Another case in the developing tradition of royalist court decisions where evidence and witnesses count for nothing.


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5 04 2014
Suthep and the judicial coup | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] power by the end of the month after the Constitutional Court disqualifies Yingluck…”. Like most anti-democrats and royalists, Thaworn reckons this case will be decided quickly as no new evidence is […]

5 04 2014
Suthep and the judicial coup | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] be out of power by the end of the month after the Constitutional Court disqualifies Yingluck…”. Like most anti-democrats and royalists, Thaworn reckons this case will be decided quickly as no new evidence is […]




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