The Constitutional Court has just ruled that the transfer of former NSC boss was hasty, non-transparent, unethical, not in the national interest and unconstitutional. The PM is therefore removed from office as well as the nine cabinet members who participated in the transfer.
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Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra has accepted the Constitutional Court' s decision to strip her of her position, but she strongly denies having done anything wrong. CHANAT KATANYU
19:50 From our online reporters
Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra has denied she did anything wrong after the Constitutional Court ruled to remove her from office for abuse of authority.
She said in a television news report that during her tenure as prime minister she had worked hard and devoted herself to serving people, who had elected her government.
She insisted that she had worked honestly and had done anything dishonest as she was accused of doing.
The former prime minister receives moral support from many well wishers. That is the new activing prime minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan in the background to the left. CHANAT KATANYU
She thanked government officials for supporting the work of her government over the two years and nine months she was in office, and the people for their moral support.
She was proud to have been an elected and hard-working prime minister and remained committed to democracy, social equality and the public interest.
15:25 It has just been announced that Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan, not Phongthep Thepkanchana, will be the next caretaker prime minister. The actual position may be "acting" prime minister.
15:00 At the moment, there is a big debate going on over whether there is a political vacuum in the country. There certainly is a vacuum in the prime minister position, but some say that one of the remaining 24 ministers, perhaps caretaker deputy prime minister Phongthep Thepkanchana, will become the temporary prime minister.
Yingluck out, partial cabinet removal
The judges of the Constitutional Court were a bit late but they did read their verdict, with representatives of both sides in attendance. It took about 90 minutes.
First, the Court ruled that it did have the authority to decide the case, despite the fact that parliament has been dissolved, a point raised by the prime minister's defence team. The prime minister and her cabinet are still performing their duties in a caretaker capacity.
The Court then considered the prime minister's role in the transfer of former national security chief Thawil Pliensri, based on the case earlier decided by the Supreme Administrative Court. The charter court said it was clear that Ms Yingluck had played an active role in his transfer, contrary to her denials.
The Court then said the transfer was hasty, non-transparent, unethical and not in the national interest. It was clearly aimed as a way to open the position of national police chief for Pol Gen Priewpan Damapong, a relative of Ms Yingluck. This, the court says, constitutes an abuse of power and is unconstitutional. Therefore, the Court ruled, the prime minister has lost her status as the country's political leader, i.e., she is no longer prime minister.
The Court then considered the status of the cabinet. The Court ruled that while the current cabinet should continue to serve in its caretaker capacity until a new government is formed, those members, nine altogether, who participated in the transfer of Mr Thawil should face the same penalty as the (former) prime minister. The nine caretaker cabinet members losing their positions are Surapong Tovichakchaikul , Plodprasob Suraswadi, Chalerm Yubamrung, Kittirat Na Ranong, Siriwat Kajornprasart, Pracha Promnok, Yuttasak Wichaidit, Santi Prompat and Anudit Nakornthap.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatras arrives at the Consitutional Court yesterday. She testified calmly, denying all wrongdoing, but she appeared openly worried about her fate at the hands of the judges. THITI WANNAMONTHA
Court rules on PM’s fate
Yingluck downplays family ties in transfer
The Constitutional Court will rule today on the status of caretaker premier Yingluck Shinawatra in the case involving the transfer of Thawil Pliensri as National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general in 2011.
Ms Yingluck is accused of breaching the charter in her transfer of Mr Thawil, and an unfavourable ruling threatens her future as prime minister as well as that of her entire cabinet.
Reporters follow yesterday's proceedings on TV at the Constitutional Court. THITI WANNAMONTHA
The charter court will rule on the case today after yesterday hearing testimony from Ms Yingluck, Mr Thawil, former national police chief Wichean Potephosree and Senator Paiboon Nititawan.
The case follows a March 7 Supreme Administrative Court ruling which found the transfer of Mr Thawil as NSC chief unlawful and ordered his reinstatement.
Mr Thawil was moved from the post in September 2011, paving the way for then police chief Pol Gen Wichean to replace him. Pol Gen Priewpan Damapong, a relative of Ms Yingluck, succeeded Pol Gen Wichean as police chief.
A group of senators led by Mr Paiboon lodged a petition with the charter court seeking a ruling on Ms Yingluck’s status following the Supreme Administrative Court findings.
Mr Paiboon told the charter court yesterday Ms Yingluck had abused her authority by transferring Mr Thawil to open the way for Pol Gen Priewpan to become national police chief.
But Ms Yingluck insisted the transfer complied with the law, saying she did nothing wrong in exercising her administrative authority to shift the NSC chief. She said she did not abuse her authority because she was legally authorised to transfer state officials.
Ms Yingluck also noted that the cabinet had nothing to do with the transfer, and insisted she did not stand to benefit personally from the appointment of Pol Gen Priewpan as national police chief.
Pol Gen Priewpan is the brother of Khunying Potjaman na Pombejra, former wife of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who is Ms Yingluck’s brother.
Ms Yingluck argued that Pol Gen Priewpan’s appointment was not made for the sake of her family because Thaksin had already divorced Khunying Potjaman when the transfer was made.
Mr Thawil told the court his transfer as NSC secretary-general was unlikely to have been for the benefit of the civil service, because Pol Gen Wichean was pressured to quit the post of national police chief to make way for Pol Gen Priewpan.
But Pol Gen Wichean refuted that testimony, telling the court he voluntarily quit as national police chief and his transfer to the post of NSC chief was legal.
Learn from listening
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abuse authority: to use of power in a bad, dishonest or unlawful way - ใช้อำนาจในทางที่ผิด
abuse of power: the illegal use of power in a bad, dishonest or harmful way - ใช้อำนาจในการกระทำผิดกฎหมาย
administrative: involving the plan, organising and running of a business, an institution, etc - เกี่ยวกับการบริหาร
Administrative Court: the court which deals with disputes between the private sector and government agencies - ศาลปกครอง
aim: to have as your purpose or goal - มีเป้าหมาย มีจุดมุ่งหมาย
appointment: when someone is officially chosen for a job - การแต่งตั้ง
argue: to give a reason or reasons why you support or oppose an idea or suggestion - ให้เหตุผล
authorised: given official permission to do something or for something to happen - ได้รับอนุญาต
authority: power - อำนาจ
benefit: an advantage you get from a situation; a helpful or good effect, or something intended to help - ผลประโยชน์, ข้อได้เปรียบ, ผลดี
breach: a failure to follow a law or rule - การละเมิดกฎหมาย
cabinet: the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - คณะรัฐมนตรี
capacity: a particular position or job - ฐานะ
caretaker: in charge for a short time, until a new leader or government is chosen - รักษาการ
charter: a constitution - รัฐธรรมนูญ
charter court: the court that decides whether or not laws follow the constitution - ศาลรัฐธรรมนูญ
civil service: the government departments responsible for putting central government plans into action - ราชการพลเรือน.
comply: to obey a rule, law, agreement, etc. or do what someone asks you to do - ปฏิบัติตาม (กฎหมาย, ข้อเสนอ, ข้อตกลง etc.)
constitute: to be considered to be something - ถือว่า, เห็นว่า, ประกอบด้วย
Constitutional Court: the court that decides whether or not laws follow the constitution - ศาลรัฐธรรมนูญ
debate: a discussion in which people or groups state different opinions about a subject - การอภิปราย, การโต้วาที, การถกเถียง
defence: the people in a court case who try to prove that someone is not guilty - การเป็นทนายให้
denial: a statement that something is not true or did not happen - คำแถลงการณ์ปฏิเสธ
deny: to say that something is not true - ปฏิเสธ
devote: to spend a lot of time or effort doing something - อุทิศ,สละ,ใส่ใจ
dissolve parliament: to formally end the House of Representatives, usually leading to a general election - ยุบสภา
divorce: to take legal action to end a marriage - หย่า
downplay: to make something seem less important or less bad than it really is - แสดงหรืออธิบายถึงสิ่งใดสิ่งหนึ่งโดยแสร้งว่าไม่สำคัญหรือไม่แย่นัก
equality: the state of being equal, especially in having the same rights, status and opportunities - ความเสมอภาค
exercise: to use your power or rights - ใช้อำนาจ
fate: the things that happen to someone/something, especially unpleasant things - ชะตากรรม
for the sake of: for the benefit or good of someone or something - ผลประโยชน์
hasty: said, made or done very quickly, especially when this has bad results - รีบเร่ง, เร่งด่วน
insist: to keep saying very firmly that something is true - ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
interest: an advantage or benefit to someone or something - ผลประโยชน์
legal: allowed by the law - ถูกต้องตามกฎหมาย
legally: correct according to the law - ตามกฎหมาย
lodge a petition: to make a formal request of someone in authority - การร้องเรียน, การยื่นคำร้อง
moral support: giving someone encouragement - ให้กำลังใจ
National Security Council: a government body which deals with security matters that require cabinet action or present a serious threat to the country's sovereignty - สำนักงานสภาความมั่นคงแห่งชาติ
ousted: forced out of a position of power - ขับออกจากอำนาจ
pave the way for: to create a situation in which something can happen -
personally: used for saying that you talking about yourself or are giving your own opinion - โดยส่วนตัว
political vacuum: a situation where there is no government or no clear leadership in a country, organisation, etc. - สูญญากาศทางการเมือง
pressure: to try to make someone do something by forcing, threatening, or persuading them in a determined way - กดดัน
proceedings: the actions taken, usually in court, to settle a legal matter - การดำเนินการ
refute: to prove that something is wrong; to say that something is not true or fair - พิสูจน์ว่าไม่จริง, ปฏิเสธ
reinstatement: putting someone back in their previous position again - การให้กลับมารับตำแหน่งเดิม
relative: a member of your family - ญาติพี่น้อง
replace: to put a new person or thing in the place of someone or something - แทน
reporter: someone whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news - ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว
representative: someone who has been chosen or elected by a person or group to vote, give opinions, or make decisions for them - ผู้แทน
role: the position or purpose that someone or something has in a situation, organisation, society or relationship - บทบาท
rule (of a court): to make a decision - พิพากษา, ชี้ขาด
ruling : a decision by a court of law - คำตัดสิน คำชี้ขาด
secretary-general: the person who is in charge of the department that deals with the running of a large international or political organisation - เลขาธิการ, เลขาธิการใหญ่
senator: a member of the Senate - วุฒิสมาชิก
shift: to transfer; to change someone’s job or responsibilities - โยกย้ายตำแหน่ง
state: government - รัฐบาล
status: official or legal position - สถานภาพ
strip: to take something away from someone - ถอน, ยึด
succeed: to come next after somebody/something and take their/its place or position - รับช่วงต่อ, ดำเนินต่อ
tenure: the period of time during which someone has an important job - ช่วงระยะเวลาที่ดำรงตำแหน่ง
testify: to make a statement about something that you saw, know, or experienced, usually in a court of law or an official investigation - ให้การเป็นพยาน
testimony: a formal statement about something that you say, know or experienced, usually given to a court of law - คำให้การ
threaten: to put at risk; to put in danger - ทำให้ตกอยู่ในความเสี่ยง
ties: relations; connections - ความสัมพันธ์
transfer: changing someone’s job or responsibilities - การโยกย้ายตำแหน่ง
transparently: openly; having nothing hidden or secret - อย่างโปร่งใส
unconstitutional: against the rules stated in the constitution - ไม่เป็นไปตามรัฐธรรมนูญ
unethical: morally wrong, or against accepted standards of behaviour, especially in a particular profession - ซึ่งผิดศีลธรรมจรรยา
unfavourable: not good and likely to cause problems or make something more difficult; showing that you do not approve of or like somebody/something - ซึ่งไม่น่าพอใจ, ซึ่งไม่เป็นผล
unlawful: against the law - ไม่ชอบด้วยกฎหมาย, ผิดกฎหมาย
unlikely: not expected to happen; probably won’t happen - ที่ไม่น่าจะเกิดขึ้น
verdict: a decision by a court of law - คำพิพากษา
voluntarily: done because you choose to do it rather than because you have to - ด้วยความสมัครใจ
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