Democracy: 9) Man behind 2006 coup & constitution: “Deny constitutional court power, is denying King’s power”

By Ranger, Thai Intel’s political journalist

Prasong Soonsiri, the man behind 2006 coup & the drafting of the military constitution says, quote: “Deny constitutional court power, is denying King’s power.” Prasong said the Thai Constitutional Court judges, act on behalf of the Thai King. Prasong chaired the current military constitution drafting committee.

  • Thailand’s justice system, have played a key role in Thailand’s political conflict since the Thai King called on judges, in a speech five months before the coup to resolve a pending constitutional crisis. Since then, courts have voided an election won by Thaksin’s party, disbanded two parties linked to him, disqualified about 200 of his allies, sentenced him to jail and seized US$1.6 billion of his wealth.

Currently, a Constitutional Court Crisis is brewing, as most members of Parliament, have rejects the Constitutional Court attempt to tell Parliament what & how to make law, in regards of amending the constitution.

  • Most neutral observer said, the reason Prasong is fiercely protective of the military constitution, is because the constitution was put in place especially to protect the Elite Establishment power over Thailand. Observers says, the military constitution created powerful independent units, such as constitutional court, anti corruption unit and the election commission. Observer says, absolute power corrupts and given that Thailand is driven mostly by the “Invisible Hand Net-Work” Thailand’s independent units have been corrupted by politics, to support the Elite Establishment, where there is no transparency in their rulings and no ability to check and balance the independent units.

Prasong has been a long-time critic of Thaksin Shinawatra since Thaksin’s entry into politics in 1994. Thaksin joined the Palang Dharma Partyin late 1994 under the invitation of Chamlong Srimuang, who had just reclaimed the position of party leader from Boonchu Rojanastien. In a subsequent purge of Boonchu-affiliated PDP Cabinet ministers, Thaksin was appointed Foreign Minister, replacing Prasong Soonsiri.

  • Prasong and Coup:

Prasong was a central figure in the 19 September 2006 Thai military coup that overthrew Thaksin Shinawatra‘s elected government. Prason had developed plans for a military coup as early as July 2006. A palace insider and favorite of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Prasong was later appointed by the junta to the National Legislative Assembly.

“The coup was the only way we could see to rid Thailand of Thaksin – our only option,” Prasong said. “It was not planned because we thought Thaksin was planning his own coup to bolster his military status, but just to stop him. We considered other options, but this was the only way we could think of to stop him.”

Again, courts have voided an election won by Thaksin’s party, disbanded two parties linked to him, disqualified about 200 of his allies, sentenced him to jail and seized US$1.6 billion of his wealth.

The current undemocratic constitution, born of the 2006 military coup, is largely the work of Prasong, as he was the chair of the drafting committee and repeatedly called the document an anti-Thaksin charter and demanded military action against those opposed to it and the sham referendum.  Prasong claims that “wholesale charter amendment is prohibited and a referendum to decide if it should proceed is probably unconstitutional”

Prasong is one of the oldest PAD. He had attended one of the very first events of Sondhi’s pre-PAD protests at Lumpini Park. Prasong also gave a speech at that meeting which was met with big applause by the audience.

  • Prasong and Yingluck

During Yingluck’s Shinawatra government, recently, Prasong has been threatening another illegal military takeover of the Thai government in response to the proposal by the Nitirat group of law academics which calls for the nullification of all court decisions and other legal action which were a consequence of the Sept 19, 2006 coup.  Prasong was said to have “sent a stern warning to the Nitirat group of law academics that what they are doing may lead to another military coup.”  Prasong warned that Nitirat’s actions “could lead to many people becoming dissatisfied and coming out in a show of force.” He’s promising PAD-like demonstrations, which he previously helped arrange, or worse.  As he says, “this might also lead to a recurrence of the Sept 19, 2006 coup…”. Late 2012, Prasong joined the rally, by She Aie, that called for a coup to get rid of Yingluck, where about 10,000 to 20,00 people showed up.

He accused the Nittirat scholars of “trying to help whitewash former prime minister Thaksin…”. Prasong, who acted as a palace and junta lackey in being chairman of the committee which drafted the current constitution, promulgated in 2007, said “some of the academics had long served Thaksin and their intentions matched those of the present government, which wanted to whitewash Thaksin.”

Prasong asked: “How can subsequent judicial decisions made after the coup be nullified?” Prasong blames all the illegal actions of the coup junta and its subsequent on Thaksin.

Prasong Soonsiri is a contemptible person who is loyal to the worst traditions of Thai politics and elite control.  He cares nothing for democracy and simply wants to bring it down because he sees a challenge to outdated institutions.  He is a political dinosaur. Unfortunately, this species of dinosaur is not yet extinct.

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