With an important update: Chuan, charter and corruption

4 04 2016

Social media posters are asking why the Democrat Party’s Chuan Leekpai is not being sent to re-education for his entirely negative comments on the junta’s draft charter.

The Bangkok Post explains why he misses out on re-education. Chuan spoke “at a seminar on the draft charter organised by the Constitutional Court…”.It was also attended by other anti-democrat big shots including junta charter minion Meechai Ruchupan.

We imagine that his comments will get the junta riled and they might do something stupid (they usually do), but can a Constitutional Court event be dubious.

We are not about to support Chuan, but some of his comments were accurate. This is what he said about the constitution:

… the new constitution must not push the country backwards.

He said its progress has been stalled at times, but a retrograde step must be prevented.

[Update: We mixed up the following quote; it is now corrected.]

… he did not think the Meechai version is an improvement on previous constitutions.

“… we should not move backwards because we’ve already come a long way…”.

He also stressed the importance of an election for the development of democracy.

While Mr Chuan commended the draft charter’s rigorous measures to stamp out corruption, he noted a constitution is not intended specifically for anti-graft purposes.

Chuan then got weird and coup-loving. Remarkably, as a senior member of a party that boycotted two elections and has a history of bringing down governments since its formation, Chuan “stressed the significance of an election for cultivating democracy.”

Even more astonishing was this advice to the junta and its supporters: “Don’t run away from elections. If there are problems, fix them…”. The military junta is clearly trying to “fix” an election, but this bit of advice on the importance of elections seems bizarre from a coup supporter.

Chuan stated his support for the coup. He “noted the reason behind the coup on May 22, 2014 was partly that people responsible for safeguarding the law [and constitution] failed to carry out their duties properly.” He says he “wanted the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to explain to the public why they seized power so the public knows the truth…. It was the failure to respect the constitution and the rule of law…”.

Much of that failure to respect the law was by the Democrat Party and its allied anti-democrats.

Meanwhile, anti-Thaksin Shinawatra activist Jade Donavanik, who was “an adviser to the Meechai charter drafting panel … [and] a former member of the previous Borwornsak Uwanno charter drafting panel,” was at the seminar and stated that “the panel could not work independently as the other four of the so-called five rivers of power — the NCPO, the NLA, the cabinet and the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) — could influence how the draft charter was shaped.”

When Meechai spoke he spent his time explaining that the charter was about combating “corruption,” instilling “discipline among people and deal[ing] with lax law enforcement.”