15 witnesses to testify on charter change inquiry
The Constitution Court has ruled to allow 15 witnesses to testify in the two-day inquiry on the charter amendment bill.
Seven witnesses are allowed to testify against charter change.
The seven include five complainants, Somjet Boonthanom (former junta member), Wiratana Kalayasiri (Democrat MP), Wanthongchai Chamnankij (activist), Varin Thiemchamras (senator) and Boworn Yasintorn (activist).
The other two are Dej-udom Krairit (senator) and Surapon Nitikraipot (former charter writer.
The eight pro-amendment witnesses include Wattana Sengpairoh (House speaker's legal adviser) or Somsak Kiatsuranont (House speaker), Woravat Auapinyakul (PM's Office minister), Yongyuth Wichaidit (Pheu Thai Party leader), Samart Kaewmechai (bill co-sponsor) and Chumpol Silapa-archa (Chart Thai Pattana Party leader).
The other three are Paradorn Prisanananthakul (Chart Thai Pattana MP), Udomdej Rattanasatien (chief coalition whip) and Bhokin Bhalakula (former Supreme Administrative Court president) or his designated representative.
The Constitution Court earlier Wednesday convened to check on the list of witnesses and evidence ahead of the inquiry on charter change scheduled for tomorrow and Friday.
The remaining witnesses will be asked to submit written statements for or against the charter amendment bill. The list allowed 15 out of 26 witnesses to testify.
Some 300 ex-Communist activists, led by Thongdee Namsaengkote, rallied near the court building in a gesture of support for the judiciary.
The activists, mainly from the Northeast, have billed themselves as counter forces to the red shirts.
They plan to encamp and "shield" the high court until Friday.
Meanwhile, red-shirt leader Somsak Boonngam-anong said he would submit a symbolic red card, signalling opposition to what he sees as an erroneous judicial decision to intervene in charter change.
The red shirts earlier decided not to rally at the high court.
Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat called for red-shirt leader Kwanchai Praipana to stop swaying the sentiment against the high court.
In recent days, Kwanchai has asked the red shirts in the Northeast to mobilise and rally at every provincial hall should the verdict on charter change be unfavourable.
Sukumpol said Kwanchai had no justification to mobilise the masses. He further stated that he believed the verdict would be just, hence all sides were obliged to abide by it.