lørdag 30. november 2013

”Thailand - what is going on for the time being?”

There are demonstrations in Bangkok to topple the Thai government.
Here are some facts although to know what are the facts is difficult to know in the political maze that is Thailand just now.

In 2001 the Consitutional Court ruled that Thaksin was OK, no big problems

In 2006 the democratically elected prime minister, Thaksin, was ousted in a military coup after the Constitutional Court ruled that the elections were not valid very much instigated by the Democrats and the yellow shirts. Shortly after there was a snap elections which Thaksin won once again. Then the army took power.

Short about the Democrats: The Democrats are no more Democrats than the NSDAP (Nationalsozialistische  Deutsche Arbeiterpartei led by Adolph Hitler) was a party for the German working class. The socalled Democrats want to keep a senate with almost as many ”appointed” members as elected members. The Democrats have also talked about  a national assembly/parliament made of a minority of elected members and a majority of ”appointed” members. See also http://world.time.com/2013/11/28/thailands-democrat-party-is-hilariously-misnamed/

After the military coup Thaksin was accused and sentenced in absentia for corruption by a court that probably was biased. Why did not the  Constitutional Court accuse and sentence him in 2001while he was in power if he did wrong? The army/the Constitutional Court made a big mistake here which is one of the reasons of the problems Thailand experince just now.

The army and their collaborators made a new constitution in 2007. See http://www.asianlii.org/th/legis/const/2007/1.html for the unofficial translation. The perpetrators in the army secured that they should not be indicted before there were elections for the parliament in 2008.

Thai rak Thai, the party of the Thaksin side, was abolished by the army and the Constitutional court. They changed their name and won the general elections. The Democrats lost and together with the yellow shirts instigated occupation of the airports in Bangkok and Phuket. The elected prime minister had to resign because he made food on a state TV channel and was paid for it according to the ruling of the Constitutional Court. A new prime minister was appointed, but he and a lot av other members of the government and the nattional assembly had to finish because the Constitutional Court ruled that they were corrupt.

Then the road was open for a Democrat government with Abhisit as prime minister. He was not elected but became prime minister due to scheming by the army, the rich and powerful and the Constitutional Court.

In 2010 there were riots in Bangkok and about 100 people were killed by the army or other gunmen, maybe from both sides.

In 2011 there were new democratic elections and Yingluck, Thaksins sister, was appointed new prime minister. In an effort to solve the political rift the ruling side tried to get a socalled blanket amnesty through in parliament. This is opposed by the Democrats who do not want Thaksin to come back to Thailand. The blanket amnesty has been withdrawn by the ruling party. The proposal to make the Senate a hundred per cent elected essembly has not been withdrawn. The Constitutional Court ruled that the the proposal about the Senate was unconstitutional. The ruling party is of the opinion that this is not a case for the Constitutional Court.

More info on  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-24997184 - this is a short abstract:
”In few other countries have a handful of judges played such a decisive role in reshaping politics as those sitting in Thailand's Constitutional Court.
In 2001 they refused to disbar newly-elected Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra from office, despite strong evidence he had broken rules on disclosing his assets.
In 2006, seemingly prompted by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, they annulled the third election won by Mr Thaksin, a decision that led eventually to the 2006 coup. In 2007 they dissolved Mr Thaksin's party. In 2008 they ousted two prime ministers allied to him, and banned the party again.
Today, they stepped back from this role, rejecting a request to dissolve his party for a third time. Thailand was spared a descent into another crisis.
But the concept of overt judicial intervention was on full display. Presiding judge Charoon Inthachan delivered a withering denunciation of the way the governing Pheu Thai party had pushed the proposed Senate changes through parliament. He warned the government against using its majority to abuse its power.
And by citing Article 68 of the constitution, he effectively outlawed any attempt by an elected government to change a charter that was drafted under military rule, following the coup.”

Article 68 says among other things this: 2 Section 68. No person shall exercise the rights and liberties prescribed in the Constitution to overthrow the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State under this Constitution or to acquire the power to rule the country by any means which is not in accordance with the modes provided in this Constitution.”  (translation of Constitution mentioned above)

The important thing to remember is that the existing constitution is made by the army in 2007. This constitution can be viewed as illegal as it was not made by the democratically elected representatives in the national assembly. It is easy to understand that many do not respect the rulings of the Constitutional Court and see them as puppets of the army, the Democrats and the yellow shirts.

The Constitutional Court works on finding out if what is going on in Bangkok now is against Section 68. Sunday December 1 is made ”Victory Day” by the demonstrators. It remains to be seen what kind of victory.

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