PT: Thaksin not behind pressure on judges
Thaksin Shinawatra has nothing to do with a protest by about 200 red shirts seeking the ouster of Constitution Court judges, the governing Pheu Thai Party says.
- Published: 27/04/2013 at 02:01 PM
- Newspaper section: topstories
If the fugitive former premier really was behind the attempt to oust the judges, thousands of red shirts would be rallying at the court, not the 100 to 200 seen this past week, Pheu Thai deputy leader Anusorn Iamsa-ard said on Saturday.
Mr Anusorn was responding to an accusation by the opposition Democrat Party that Thaksin might be backing the protesters because he wanted to bring down the Constitution Court.
Supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra remain wary of the charter court because of decisions that have gone against Thaksin-linked parties. (Photo by Pattnapong Chantranontwong)
A major criticism of Thaksin's premiership from 2001 until the 2006 coup that overthrew him was that he attempted to weaken many independent agencies intended to keep a check on politicians' power.
Mr Anusorn, however, said many people were still suspicious about past rulings by the court, which they saw as biased against parties affiliated with Thaksin.
These included the decision that disqualified the late Samak Sundaravej as prime minister because he received money for hosting a cooking show on TV, said Mr Anusorn, a top member of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).
He said that in his view, the current protest was within the scope of the law and the protesters were staying well outside the perimeter of the court premises.
The Constitution Court on Friday filed a complaint with Crime Suppression Division police against four red-shirt leaders who have been staging the rallies.
The complaint accuses them of defaming the judges, in violation of sections 136 and 198 of the Criminal Code.
Representatives of the court on Friday filed the complaint, along with a recording of speeches made during the protest.
Earlier on Thursday, the protesters submitted a 20,000-name petition to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) seeking to remove the judges.
Pheu Thai and its academic and grassroots supporters want lawmakers favouring charter change to reject the Constitutional Court's authority over the review of amendments.
They want the MPs and senators to go on revising the charter even if the court declares that the amendments are unconstitutional.
In a related development, Mr Anusorn said Pheu Thai's legal team had finished drafting an open letter declaring its defiance of the court.
He said the party refused to recognise the authority of the court for having accepted for consideration a petition filed by Senator Somchai Sawaengkarn against a charter amendment bill.
The letter will be discussed at a party meeting on Tuesday and forwarded to the charter court on Wednesday if party members approve.
If the court does not respond to the letter, the party would go ahead with a process to impeach the judges, Mr Anusorn said.
He claimed more than 100 party MPs were now ready to back the impeachment petition.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
- Position: Online Reporters