April 14, 2014 00:00
By PIYANUCH THAMNUKASETCHAI
JUSTICE MINISTER'S IDEA TO ASK |FOR A ROYAL JUDGEMENT SEEN AS A SHOT AT PDRC
JUSTICE MINISTER Chaikasem Nitisiri has made a subtle riposte to retaliate against the People’s Democratic Reform Committee by floating the idea of seeking a royal judgement in case of a political vacuum.
As a legal guru of the Pheu Thai Party, the proposal was by no means a slip of the tongue. It was deliberately raised to respond to the PDRC’s repeated call for a non-partisan prime minister to be appointed by His Majesty the King under Article 7 of the Constitution.
It drew heavy criticism from both his party and the PDRC, but after all, since the PDRC plans to invoke Article 7 to seek a prime minister from His Majesty, why can’t the ruling coalition cite the same article to ask His Majesty whether the caretaker government could remain in office?
Chaikasem had expressed fear that the Constitutional Court would rule against Yingluck for transferring Thawil Pliensri from the position of secretary-general of the National Security Council, causing her to step down.
In that scenario, the entire Cabinet would be ousted along with her, creating a political vacuum.
Article 7 states that: “Whenever no provision under this Constitution is applicable to any case, it shall be decided in accordance with the constitutional practice in the democratic regime of the government with the King as Head of State”.
“I believe the Constitutional Court will rule that the prime minister and the Cabinet must be terminated. This will be unprecedented. To prevent a political vacuum, Article 7 must be invoked.
“The Cabinet is appointed by the King but the Constitutional Court will rule that it must be removed from office, so the King should be asked what he thinks should be the right process,” Chaikasem said.
His Majesty should be asked whether the Cabinet appointed by him should go on working since he has not issued a royal command to disband it.
His proposal was condemned for improperly dragging the Monarch into politics.
It was seen as being well planned because Ruangkrai Leekijwattana, a member of the Pheu Thai legal team, also came up with a similar prediction for the court’s ruling.
An aide of Chaikasem confirmed to The Nation that the minister did not make a mistake and was not testing the political waters. However, he was returning the PDRC’s sword against the anti-government movement.