Court petition over Thawil's transfer 'aims to oust govt'

national April 05, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Pheu Thai's Bhokin says anti-Yingluck ruling by court will violate charter

The move to file a case over the ousting of Thawil Pliensri from his post at the National Security Council is just a conspiracy to topple caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her Cabinet, Pheu Thai Party legal expert Bhokin Bhalakula said yesterday.
The petition lodged with the Constitutional Court to disqualify Yingluck was politically motivated and part of moves to replace her and her government with an unelected, unconstitutional one, he alleged. 
The petition filed by the Group of 40 senators asking the court to consider dismissing the Cabinet and installation of a new premier and new Cabinet according to Articles 172 and 173 was very strange and obviously against the constitution, Bhokin said. 
“The Constitutional Court does not have the jurisdiction to take up this case and if it rules in favour of the petition, then it would effectively terminate the Constitution and the verdict itself would be unconstitutional,” he said. 
“This is [part of] a judicial coup,” he said, noting that Yingluck did not have a mandate after she dissolved the House of Representatives in December. 
He also pointed out that she was no longer the prime minister, but just taking care of the government pending the formation of a new Cabinet. 
Bhokin pointed out that the case was similar to the one filed against former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva in relation to his disqualification as an MP. 
The court dismissed the case, saying that Abhisit was no longer an MP as the House had been dissolved. 
Pheu Thai’s legal expert Chusak Sirinil backed Bhokin, saying the move to install an unelected PM was not possible under the charter. 
“If the Constitutional Court rules in favour of the senators, then I don’t think this country would have a rule of law anymore. There would be no law, just the court,” he said. 
Senators’ reasoning
Meanwhile, Senator Paiboon Nititawan, a member of the Group of 40, said if the court disqualified Yingluck, he would call on the Senate to appoint a replacement, acceptable to the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee. 
“We will use the Constitution’s Articles 172 and 173, which empowers the Senate to choose a new premier as our country does not have a House of Representatives at present,” he said. 
Under the Constitution, the House is authorised to vote for a new premier, who will then be escorted by the House Speaker to be endorsed by His Majesty the King. 
Paiboon said owing to the lack of a Lower House, the Senate Speaker could do this job, noting that deputy Senate speaker Surachai Liengboonlertchai, who is now acting Senate speaker, could carry out the mission. 
A new group of senators were voted in on Sunday and the Senate was in the process of selecting a new speaker. Paiboon said several people, such as Surachai and newly elected Senator Jaruvan Maintaka, were capable of the job. 

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