PM's aide: 'lese majeste untouchable'

PM's aide: 'lese majeste untouchable'

Anti-government demonstrators gather in front of the United Nations Conference Centre on Ratchadamnoen Avenue in Bangkok on Dec 10, 2020, calling for the repeal of Section 112 of the Criminal Code. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Anti-government demonstrators gather in front of the United Nations Conference Centre on Ratchadamnoen Avenue in Bangkok on Dec 10, 2020, calling for the repeal of Section 112 of the Criminal Code. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

It is impossible to repeal Section 112 of the Criminal Code, also known as the lese majeste law, both in technicality and spirit, and doing so runs counter to the constitution, said Thipanan Sirichana, the former deputy spokeswoman of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party.

Ms Thipanan, now attached to the Prime Minister's Secretariat Office, insisted the charter stipulates in Section 6 that the monarch holds a position of reverence which is inviolable.

Abolishing the lese majeste law intended to provide legal protection to the monarch from insults and dishonour would, in essence, contravene the constitution, she said.

Section 112, which is reserved for the head of state and categorised as a national security law, works differently from the defamation law which applies to citizens.

She said it was puzzling that Progressive Movement secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, who is a legal expert, has shown a lack of understanding of the law.

Ms Thipanan said she could only deduce that Mr Piyabutr may be trumpeting the repeal of Section 112 to solicit the votes of those wish to see the abolition of the controversial law ahead of the nationwide local polls on Nov 28.

Meanwhile, Lt Gen Paradorn Pattanathabut, secretary to the Pheu Thai Party's special affair committee, admitted Section 112 as well as Section 116 governing charges of sedition in the Criminal Code relate to the monarchy and as such are sensitive and have implications on national security.

He suggested the Section 112 cases be investigated by a police panel, including representatives from civic groups, academics and human rights agencies as they probe the matter.

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