HM the King's April 26 speeches (unofficial translation)
His Majesty addressed the Administrative and Supreme Courts' judges during separate Royal audience at Klai Kangwol Palace in Prachuap Khiri Khan on Tuesday at 5.42pm.
HM the King's speech to the Administrative Court's judges
"Now, I will talk about the election. The court itself has the right to discuss the election, especially the candidates who received less than 20 per cent of the vote.
Besides, some of them were the sole candidates in their constituencies, which is critical. The sole candidatures cannot lead to full membership in the House, because a sole candidate must have support from at least 20 per cent.
Is this issue relevant to you? In fact, it should be. The issue of the solecandidacy elections is important because they will never fulfil the quorum. If the House is not filled by elected candidates, the democracy cannot function. If this is the case, the oaths you have just sworn in would be invalid. You have sworn to work for democracy. If you cannot do it, then you may have to resign. You must find ways to solve the problem.
When referring the case to the Constitution Court, the court said it was not their jurisdiction. The Constitution Court said they're in charge of drafting the Constitution and their job was finished after completing the draft.
I ask you not to neglect democracy, because it's a system that enables the country to function.
Another point is whether it was right to dissolve the House and call for snap polls within 30 days. There was no debate about this. If it's not right, it must be corrected.
Should the election be nullified? You have the right to say what's appropriate or not. If it's not appropriate, it is not to say the government is not good. But as far as I'm concerned, a oneparty election is not normal. The one candidate situation is undemocratic.
When an election is not democratic, you should look carefully into the administrative issues. I ask you to do the best you can. If you cannot do it, then it should be you who resign, not the government, for failing to do your duty. Carefully review the vows you have made.
I heard on the radio this morning about the case in Noppitam subdistrict in Tha Sala district in Nakhon Si Thammarat province. It is not the only case. There are other places [where there were election problems] that can cause the collapse of the country. The nation cannot survive if the situation runs contrary to the law.
Therefore, I ask you to carefully study whether you can make a point on this issue. If not, you had better resign. You have been tasked with this duty. You are knowledgeable. You must make the country function correctly. Otherwise, you must have a discussion with the Supreme Court judges who will come in later. Conduct your discussions with people based on knowledge, honesty and faith in your duty to resolve this situation. The country should function according to the law.
I will be grateful if you look into the issue. Otherwise, it will cause a problem, because without the House of Representatives, there won't be democracy. We have many types of courts and councils, and every one of them must work together to find solutions.
What I'm saying may seem a bit strange, but I have to urge you. Otherwise people will cite Article 7 of the Constitution. I affirm that Article 7 does not empower the King to make a unilateral decision. It talks about the constitutional monarchy but does not give the King power to do anything he wishes. If the King did so, he would overstep his duty. I have never overstepped this duty. Doing so would be undemocratic.
They refer to the government under Prime Minister Sanya Dharmasakti. Then, I did not overstep this duty. At that time, we had a parliament but the House Speaker was away. The Deputy House Speaker countersigned according to the Constitution. At that time, the prime minister was not Royally appointed. It was not against the Constitution.
Installing a Royally appointed prime minister means appointing a prime minister without any rules. At that time, Professor Sanya was appointed as prime minister, but a Deputy House Speaker legally countersigned for his appointment.
Go review the history. You are knowledgeable people. You know the guidelines and the principles.
At that time, other councils, even the Sapha Sanam Ma [the National Convention of 1973] that people laughed at, didn't breach the law because Mr Sanya was countersigned for. I was content because it was according to the Constitution's guidelines.
But this time, they will violate the Constitution. I don't know who told them to do so. I myself feel that it's not right. I am asking you to think and act in a way that will not violate the Constitution's guidelines, to help the nation get through these obstacles and prosper.
HM the King's speech to Supreme Court's judges
Now, there was an election in order to ensure democracy. But if Parliament lacks a quorum, it is not democratic. Please consult with the people who govern the country. Please consult with the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Criminal Court and with other courts as well. It will help the country be governed by democratic rule. Do not wait for a Royally appointed prime minister because that would not be democracy.
I have suffered a lot. Whatever happens, people call for a Royally appointed prime minister, which would not be democracy. If you cite Article 7 of the Constitution, it is an incorrect citation. You cannot cite it. Article 7 has two lines: whatever is not stated by the Constitution should follow traditional practices. But asking for a Royally appointed prime minister is undemocratic. It is, pardon me, a mess. It is irrational.
You are Supreme Court judges with clear heads that can think of a method to work this out. The administration must have a House with a full quorum. If not, it would not be functional. I feel that maybe finding a way to establish a House which lacked a quorum would be messing up. I want to apologise again for using the word "mess". I have no idea who messed up. You cannot administrate the country by messing up. You cannot think in haste and pass the buck to the King, which is worse than messing things up in other areas, because the King has no authority. Please help the court to think. Now the public pins their hope on the courts, especially the Supreme Court, but other courts as well. The people say that the court is still honest and knowledgeable because the judges have learned about the law and scrutinise them carefully so the country survives. If you do not follow legal principles, correct administration principles, the country will not survive as it is today, because there are not enough MPs to fill the quorum of 500. It cannot function. You have to consider how to work this out. You cannot ask the King to make a decision saying that the King has signed his signature. Article 7 does not say that the King has that authority. It does not.
Look at Article 7. The article does not say that a constitutional monarchy means the King has the authority to make an order. I insist that I have never issued any orders without basing them on directives of the articles of the Constitution, laws and Acts. I strictly and correctly have complied with the Constitution.
People have asked for a Royally appointed prime minister, but there is not a rule for this; a prime minister is correctly Royally endorsed every time. There may be people who say that King Rama IX likes to do what he wants, but I have never done that.
Since I became King, there have been several rewritings of the Constitution over several decades. I have never acted on a whim. If I had done that, the country would have sunk a long time ago. Now they ask me to act on a whim. If I do what I am asked to do, they will lambaste and gossip about the King, saying that he acts on a whim. I am not afraid. If I had to, I would do it, but I do not have to.
Supreme Court judges have the right to tell the other courts - the Constitution Court and the Administrative Court. There is no restriction on the Supreme Court. Judges have the right to speak out and make a ruling, therefore I would like to ask you to consider, consult with other judges of other courts such as the Administrative Court, about how to work it out and do it quickly. Otherwise the country will collapse.
I was watching TV awhile ago; a ship weighing several thousand tons was hit by a storm and sank 4,000 metres under the sea. They still have yet to find the cause why the ship sank. Thailand will sink more than 4,000 metres under the sea. Irretrievable. We would not be able to rescue it. So you would also sink, and innocent people would also sink below the ocean.
Now this is the worst crisis to have hit the world. You have the duty to perform and consult with the people who are informed. People call to "rescue the nation". Whatever they do, they call "rescue the country''. What do you rescue? The country has not sank yet. We have to prevent it from sinking, we do not have to rescue it. You have to think carefully how to solve this problem. If you can, please consult with each other.
Actually, people across the country and around the world will rejoice and see that the Supreme Court judges are still competent and knowledgeable and have the willingness to retrieve the country when it is time to do so.
Thank you everyone who has the willingness to perform their duty correctly, so that the country survives and does not need to be rescued. Thank you for trying to carry out your duties well; people will be grateful. Thank you on behalf of the people, everyone in the country, for being strong Supreme Court judges. Thank you for performing your duties well. Be strong in your fight for righteousness and justice in the country. Thank you.