CAPO under fire for statement 'pressuring' top court and anti-corruption agency

national April 19, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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The government's Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order came under fire yesterday for accusing the Constitutional Court and the National Anti-Corruption Commission of attempting to exceed their authority in cases against Prime Minister Yingluck

The NACC said CAPO’s seven-point statement on Thursday could lead to a widespread perception the government was intervening to counter the work of the anti-graft agency.
“It appears there are attempts to pressure the NACC to decide or judge in a way that the administrative branch wants. This certainly will bring no benefit to the work of the agencies under the Constitution,” NACC secretary-general and spokesman Sansern Poljieak said in a statement.
In response to CAPO’s allegation of unfair treatment against the government, the NACC said yesterday it was performing its duty in line with the Constitution. 
Sansern cited Article 3 of the charter that says, “The performance of duties of the National Assembly, the Council of Ministers, the Courts, and the constitutional organs as well as State agencies shall be under the Rule of Law.” He said that meant NACC maintains the principle of fairness to all. 
“Also, we work without any bias although we have been threatened and intimidated by some groups of people. NACC commissioners have not been discouraged and we will never abandon the rule of law,” the NACC spokesman said.
Red-shirt supporters of the government have denounced the NACC for legal moves against Yingluck, and its office has come under several grenade attacks. 
The NACC is investigating an allegation of neglect against the PM over the government’s loss-making and allegedly corruption-plagued rice price-pledging scheme. Meanwhile the Constitutional Court is hearing a case in which she is accused of malfeasance for removing National Security Council secretary-general Thawil Pliensri.
CAPO, in its “statement No 1” on Thursday, expressed concern there could be bias and “double standards” by the court and the NACC against the prime minister. It warned that such practices could lead to violence.
Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said yesterday that CAPO appeared to be pressuring the court and the NACC not to make any decision that would harm the government.
“What the CAPO should do is to ask all the parties involved to accept decisions by the NACC and the Constitutional Court,” he said. 
“They should not have created more conflict by using its supporters and the state mechanism to prevent scrutiny of the government. CAPO should be dissolved because it no longer does the work of maintaining peace,” Abhisit said.
CAPO yesterday defended its statement, saying there were signs that violence could worsen the situation and lead to a political vacuum. 

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