The Compromise Ruling
While the much awaited decision today by Thailand’s Constitutional Court dismissed the petition which sought the dissolution of the the democratically elected party, it also protected the 2007 Constitution which was put in place by a coup government.
Thailand’s Constitutional Court defused a potential political crisis Friday by dismissing a complaint that the ruling party’s attempt to amend the constitution amounted to plotting to overthrow the monarchy.
Had the court sustained the complaint, it could have ordered Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s party dissolved just a year after the landslide election that brought it to power. Many feared such a ruling would have provoked mass street protests and possible violence.
Thailand’s constitution was written in 2007 under an interim, unelected government temporarily in power after a military coup. Seeing the charter as undemocratic, lawmakers from Yingluck’s Pheu Thai party wanted to establish a drafting committee to amend it.
In reading the compromise verdict, judge Nurak Marpraneet said the charter could be amended section by section, though it could not be entirely rewritten.
Nurak then said “there are not enough facts to show” that the charter amendment aimed to topple the constitutional monarchy. “What the complainants indicated in the petition was merely speculation,” he said. (…)
“This is a system designed by the coup-makers,” said Chaturon Chaisang, another senior Pheu Thai member.
The Constitutional Court has “the power to remove the prime minister, dissolve parties they don’t like — to overthrow governments they don’t like,” he said. “That’s the problem. That’s not democracy … that’s why” the constitution needs to be amended.