Democracy: Thailand’s Constitution called “License to Rape Sovereignty”

By Tammy, Thai Intel’s humanity journalist

Thailand’s prime minister, Yingluck, won the last general eletion, campaign on amending the 2007 military constitution and populous policy. She has now kicked-off plans to amend the 2007 military constitution.

Latest is that a referendum will be put to the Thai people, before the process starts. Most Thai political party agree on the amending of the constitution. However, Abhisit’s Democrat Party is against it, and so have a few Thai press such as Bangkok Post and the Nation.

The following is how the 2007 military constitution is viewed by a Party List, Pheu Thai Party MP, Jarupan.

The 2007 Constitution: A license to rape sovereignty

By

Jarupan Kuldiloke

เมื่อ 11 ธันวาคม 2012 เวลา 22:01 น.

The 2007 Constitution can be cited to justify as many coups as possible and it automatically guarantees impunity of the coup makers.

Article 309 provides that “All matters guaranteed by the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand (Interim Edition), B.E. 2549 (2006) to be lawful and constitutional, including all acts related to such matters whether before or after the promulgation date of this Constitution, shall be considered constitutional.”

What does it mean? It means that the coup that had been committed and led to any acts including the enforcement of the 2006 Interim Constitution is considered lawful as far as the current Constitution is concerned.

In other word, it allows as many coups to be committed and it does not matter if the coup was, is being or will be committed, such an act shall be justified by the most important law of the land.

In an even plainer word, “it provides for as many rapes of democracy as possible!!!!!!! And it is very unique in the world!!!!!”

What I write is nothing new as a number of people have touched on it. I simply want to make it loud and clear again on the Constitutional Day of Thailand that certain groups of people have closed their ears and not listened as they have gained from raping the country. They have come out to oppose any constitutional amendment. They claim such a move to amend the Constitution “shall induce conflicts”. They claim “the government should pay attention to other more urgent agendas”. Otherwise, they put it sternly that “the constitutional amendment is aimed at helping just one person”.

Look out the pundits! All these same old voices stand to gain from the dictatorial constitution. They have no whatsoever desire to “protect sovereignty of Thai people or even the nation”.

Look out on those people opposed to constitutional amendment. Can any of them step out and argue that Article 309 has not made Thailand a laughing stock among the world’s democracies?

This is yet to mention several other articles which compromise Thai people’s sovereign power. Many of the articles are simply contradictory among themselves.

Among the arch oppositions are Senators who have not been elected by people, but have been appointed. Their yearning to continue to hold to their power to decide the nation’s sovereignty has prompted them to do whatever they can to oppose the amendment. Their actions have to be noted and taken as a lesson learned among the later generations. These Senators-appointed are a source of the imbalance of power and have contributed to chronic problems in our country’s power structure. They have done much to ensure the continuation of conflicts in the country.

I was part of the House Committee to draft the Constitution and our work was completed since last April. It was agreed in principle during the meetings that the 2007 Constitution contains so many flaws and the contents can be subjected to staggering interpretations. The judiciary and the people can make different interpretations of the same provisions. Thus, we wanted to make the contents of the Constitution simple and clear. We have no intention to advocate constitutional amendment to incite any conflicts.

For two full months I have worked with the Drafting Committee plus fifteen days and fifteen nights to deliberate the draft in the House and two more days and two more nights to listen to boring and repetitive suggestions for its revision. It made me confused as to who opposed any amendments, any articles. During the entire course of meetings, none of the accusations has ever been made that the Phue Thai MPs and Senators who signed up to propose the motion of constitutional amendment have acted with an intent to overthrow democracy in Thailand, the charge of which was later laid against us and filed with the Constitutional Court invoking Article 68 of the Constitution. In fact, if they were opposed to the constitutional amendment, they could have done so since the motion was first proposed and still read in the House in February this year.

After two rounds of deliberation, a reprieve of fifteen days was required prior to voting in the third round which was supposed to take place in early June. Even by then, there was not so ever voice opposing it.

Then when the Reconciliation Bill was tabled for reading in the House in late May, the issue was manipulated and claimed as a reason to oppose constitutional amendment. In fact, those who were opposed to the Reconciliation Bill had no ground to protest it, so they simply blamed it all on the constitutional amendment and complained to the Attorney General on 29 May and later to the Constitutional Court on 31 May. They claimed they had to go directly to Constitutional Court since the AG failed to give them any answers within two days. For whatever reasons cited to oppose the Reconciliation Bill, grave damage has already been done to the entire nation.

The havocs have lingered on until now. Fake polls and media have pitched people against each other claiming false data to justify their claim that a large number of people were opposed to constitutional amendment. We simply had to ask them back if they were sincerely opposed to the constitutional amendment with a good intent for the country, why they had not done it since February.

As part of the Drafting Committee, I insist that none of the Committee members, either from the coalition parties or the opposition parties, have voiced their opposition to the constitutional amendment. In fact, the issue we are supposed to ponder nowadays should be whether the amendments should be made with a view of “revising the whole Constitution”, or simply “working on an article by article basis”. We should not have to rewind back to whether one should oppose the amendment or not.

In addition, I insist that the constitutional amendment is an urgent matter. Similar to a car, if the engine got struck, it cannot go forward. With an imbalanced structure of the nation, Thai people are destined to tread on a rather rough terrain and the conflicts are set to get overblown, even more so nowadays.

If the nation is like a patient, she would be a very sick and bed ridden person and sees no hope of recovery. Under the 2007 Constitution, there simply is no hope to help all Thai people enjoy their life and ensure a robust nation.

Thus, any persons who say constitutional amendment is not an urgent matter are nothing, but liars. It is one of the most urgent matters; the country needs an operation in order to get recovered. Given my experience working with systemic issues, I am fully aware that constitutional amendment is the number one most important matter and it got to sail through with sheer support.

Personally, I disagree with revising the constitutional provisions article by article. It takes too long time. In average, it takes about four or five months to agree on revising one article, if we proceed with an article by article basis, how many more years will it take to complete the amendment of the whole Constitution?

In engineering term, the structural revision cannot be done spot by spot. The whole structure has to be looked at the same time since each part connects to one another and the system as a whole. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Those who advocate an article by article amendment simply lack this systemic view.

Nevertheless, if you insist on getting it amended article by article, I would agree with that. And the more it takes to get the Constitution amended, the better the people understand how much power has been taken away from them. It will help people realize the importance of the constitutional provisions and they may even be able to recite every article. And then they shall realize how they have been oppressed for so long, and who their friends and their foes are.

Those who want to advocate an article by article amendment can go on. But people already know which provisions should be revised. One day, you will feel ashamed of yourself for dragging it for too long to complete the task. Eventually, the version you will attain shall simply match the simple and clear version that people already have in their mind since a long time ago as constitutionalism is not a new science. And the principle of the separation of power is nothing new. Sovereignty is nothing new. A balanced structure of power is also not a new invention.

It is just a waste of time for Thai people to take too long to attain the balanced structure of power, even though such a structure has been well developed in the world since more than 200 years ago.