A “Judicial Coup” just occurred in Thailand, and Thailand just entered the first stage of a Civil War.
The following is a Fact Sheet”
Fact 1) Outraged on top of Outraged:
For a back-ground, the Constitutional Court earlier, gave itself absolute power over the enforcement and interpretation of what the Constitution says. That move outraged many. With that absolute power, it told Parliament to amend the constitution section by section, and if it wanted to amend the whole constitution, it must first table the move to the Thai people to vote on. That order also outraged many. Parliament, however, did what it was told, and amended the section on Senators, for all of them to be elected. However, the Constitutional Court, now says that amendment is illegal. Thia also outraged many.
Fact 2) Constitutional Court & Abhisit’s Dems Share Cause:
The anti-government groups protesting the Yingluck government has intensified their campaign to oust the government, with the Constitutional Court ruling rationale, hat basically the court said, the Yingluck government is a dictatorship of the majority. That assertion by the constitutional court is exactly what the protesters have been saying.
Fact 3) Waiting to Step into Power:
With the Constitutional Court help, Abhisit’s Dems protest, lead by Suthep, is looking to topple Yingluck, and for power to fall into Abhisit’s Dems lap, says Red Shirts leader, Chatuporn, who said a “Judicial Coup” just occurred in Thailand.
Fact 4) Anti Corruption Unit Quickly Join:
While the high court found the bill unconstitutional but stopped short of penalising the coalition parties and lawmakers involved, the anti corruption unit, another unit controlled by the elite establishment, a day after the ruling, set up the process of getting rid of senators and MPs, based on the court’s ruling. Five impeachment petitions have been submitted to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), which will be combined into a single case. Named in the petitions are House speaker, Senate speaker and 312 other parliamentarians related to the charter amendment. The NACC yesterday decided to launch an inquiry into MPs and senators involved in the charter amendment. The inquiry is a first step for impeachment and criminal proceedings. Should the NACC find cause for removal from office, the case would be forwarded to the Senate to hold an impeachment trial. Should there be criminal culpability, the case would be tried in the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders. Three NACC members, Vicha Mahakun, Jaided Pornchaiya and Pakdee Pothisiri, have been designated as lead inquirers responsible for the case.
Fact 5) Pheu Thai Party Cites “Judicial Coup”
Pheu Thai Party yesterday held a press conference, and the party leaders say the Constitutional Court verdict blocking charter amendment on senators a virtual coup d’etat; with the coalition to push for impeachment of five judges who voted bill as unconstitutional. Four Pheu Thai MPs issued an open letter calling for House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont to rebut the verdict.
Fact 6) Seeking Legal Response:
Deputy Prime Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana told the House yesterday that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has instructed the Council of State to study the ruling and advise the government what to do next as the ruling was unprecedented. Pheu Thai’s legal adviser, Chusak Sirinil, said the ruling coalition parties were preparing to file two charges against five court judges who ruled that the charter amendment was unconstitutional, for violation of the Constitution’s Articles 157 and 112. The ruling, which killed the bill, was announced while the law is pending royal endorsement. Chief coalition whip Aumnuay Khlangpha said coalition lawmakers, too, will meet next week to map out their next move related tocharter change.
Fact 7) Lost Balance and Separation of Power:
In a statement, Pheu Thai said the court’s ruling was an interference in the affairs of parliamentarians, and as such was like a coup against the mandate of the people. The statement was issued a day after the Constitutional Court ruled that the charter amendment bill regarding senator selection, endorsed by 312 parliamentarians, was unconstitutional. “The 312 MPs sponsored the charter amendment bill on the Senate’s composition to make the charter democratic based on the principle that the ruling mandate belongs to the people. As a result, all parliamentarians must be elected in accordance with the principles of the 1997 charter, which was the people’s constitution,” Pheu Thai said.
It also noted that Article 291 of the Constitution clearly states that the power to amend the charter belongs to Parliament. Article 291 prohibits only two changes: a change in the ruling system from Constitutional Monarchy, and a change in the form of governance. The Constitutional Court intentionally abused its authority in violation of the Constitution by deciding to review petitions against the charter amendment bill. The party said the action warranted impeachment or criminal proceedings against the Constitutional Court judges.
Fact 8) Senators Cry Foul:
Pro-amendment senators stepped forward to cry foul, saying the judiciary was interfering with the legislative process. Under Article 154 of the Constitution, the court was empowered to review only an Act of Parliament and lower categories of legislations and not amended charter provisions. Senator Wicharn Sirichai-Ekawat said he duly noted that three dissenting judges had opined the court had no mandate. Senator Narumol Siriwat said in her opinion, the high court had no mandate to rule on the charter amendment. Another MP Cherdchai Tantisirin said he saw the verdict as a royal offence because it came after the amendment had been forwarded for royal approval.
Fact 9) Red Shirts to Gather:
Meanwhile, the Red Shirts are planning a major gathering, where any where from 80,000 to 140,000 Red Shirts are expected. Weng Tojirakarn, a Red Shirts leader, said they were dissatisfied with the judicial intervention in legislative affairs. “From what I see, the Constitutional Court staged a bogus coup aiming at seizing power from the legislature even though the Constitution does not empower the court to meddle with the legislative work,” he said.
Fact 10) Civil War Ensured:
Many neutral observer of Thailand, says Thailand has entered the first stage of a civil war, where 1,000s would lose their lives, and Thailand’s future, is bleak.
- Constitutional court ruled to keep status quo in Thailand, but wording a time bomb ticking (thaishortnews.wordpress.com)
- Thailand on The Brink of Civil War? Game shift to constitutional court (thaishortnews.wordpress.com)
- Thai Crisis: Thailand on the brink of civil war? Game shifts to elite control Constitutional Court (thaiintelligentnews.wordpress.com)
- Thai Government Faces Fresh Challenge in Court (abcnews.go.com)