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Constitutional Court says charter amendments unconstitutional

Anti-government protest at Silom.

Anti-government protest at Silom.

8am :A group of anti-government protesters from the Thammatipatai group gather in front of Government Complex A building on Chaeng Wattana road. They tell reporters that they are there to prevent anti-Constitutional Court groups from rallying at the venue. They say they will accept the court's ruling, which is due today.

9am: Democrat MP Korn Chatikavanij posts on his Facebook wall that he has asked the Constitution Court to rule on the legality of the Bt2 trillion borrowing bill, which the Senate passed early Wednesday.

9.30am: The Constitutional Court convenes to decide whether the amendment of the charter on senators’ election and qualifications violates the charter or not.

9.40am : Security officers at the Constitutional Court ask Thammatipatai members who came to give moral support to the Court to leave the premises for safety reasons.

9.50am : Senator Paiboon Nititawan, a complainant against the petition, arrives at the court and says he has confidence in the court's justice.

10am : Democrat MP Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, former justice minister and another contender of the petition, arrives at the court. He gives no interview.

11.07am : Red-shirt leader Weng Tojirakarn tells red crowd at Rajamangala stadium. "We won't go home till we wipe out reactionaries from Thai soil."

11.20am: Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her legal advisers monitor and wait for the court’s verdict reading in Thai Khu Fah building at the Government House. Earlier, Pheu Thai legal expert Pichit Cheunban met PM secretary general Suranand Vejjajiva at the Government House.

11.25am: Natthawut Saikua says at Rajamangala where hundreds of red shirts are gathering, "Reds throughout the country are ready to fight peacefully."

11.27am: Red-shirt leader Nisit Sinthiprai tells red shirts at Rajamangala that power outside the system cannot defeat the power of the people.

11.29am : Jatuporn Promphan says no verdict will be worse than what happened on April 10 and May 19, 2010.

Noon : A group of red-shirt protesters dropped by at Democrat Party headquarters on Setsiri Road on their way to Rachamangkala Stadium. They blew sport air horn in protest before leaving.

1.25pm : Judges start reading the ruling: judges Suphot Kaimuk and Charoon Intacharn are the readers. It is more than 2 hours late as the Court was scheduled to deliver the verdict at 11am.

1.38pm : Judge starts the reading by saying that the Court has the authority to consider the case and all authorities concerned are bound to follow the order. Earlier the ruling Pheu Thai party including House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranond claimed that the Court has no authority to consider the case.

1.45pm : The Constitutional Court rules that the process to amend the charter on senators’ elections and qualifications had violated Article 291.

While the court was still reading its verdict, the early verdict stated that the draft submitted to the Parliamentary meeting was not the same as submitted by Udomdej Ratanasatien. As a result, the court said the process was illegal.

1.50pm : The Judge rules the second reading of the charter amendment bill on senators’ qualifications and elections had violated the meeting regulations. In the verdict, whose reading was still going on, the court said the debates by MPs and senators, who disagreed with the majority side of the vetting panel, were cut short. Moreover, the votes counts were retroactively done.

1.51pm : 2pm : Judges voted 5:4 that charter amendment violated Articles of the 2007 Constitution but dropped request to dissolve political parties.

2.12pm: Red shirt leaders will declare its stance on verdict at 8pm tonight, said Weng Tohjirakarn.

2.15pm : Weng accused Charter Court of being ’dishonest’.

2.25pm : ’The bell of a new round of fight bet. democratic force & extra-constitutional force have begun!’ said Nattawut. "Basically [the court] said were all wrong," he said. He calls for red-shirts to join the rally against the Constitutional Court.

1.45pm : The Constitutional Court rules that the process to amend the charter on senators’ elections and qualifications has violated Article 291.

The early verdict states that the draft submitted to the Parliamentary meeting was not the same as the one submitted by Udomdej Ratanasatien. As a result, the court said the process was illegal. Reading of the verdict continues.

1.50pm: The judge rules the second reading of the charter amendment bill on senators’ qualifications and elections violates the meeting regulations. In the verdict, the reading of which is still going on, the court says the debates by MPs and senators, who disagreed with the majority side of the vetting panel, were cut short. Moreover, the vote counts were carried out retroactively.

1.51pm - 2pm: The judges vote 5 to 4 that the charter amendment violates Articles of the 2007 Constitution but drop request to dissolve political parties.

2.12pm: Red shirt leaders will declare its stance on verdict at 8pm tonight, Weng Tohjirakarn says.

2.15: Weng accuses Charter Court of being "dishonest".






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