Court spokesman dismisses red move
The Constitution Court refused to respond yesterday to questions by the red shirts on whether there is an obligation to hold a national referendum before proceeding with changes to the charter.Pimol Thammapitakpong, chief spokesman of the top court, said it was not the Constitution Court's duty to clarify issues that the red shirts want it to explain. He said the court did not have the authority to make such clarification - it only has the authority to rule which laws violate the Constitution.
Red-shirt leaders will ask the court this week if its ruling last year said that a public referendum should be held before Parliament votes on the third reading of a bill on amending the charter - or whether the court banned Parliament from voting in a third reading.
The government, meanwhile, will discuss its plan on amending the charter with the Election Commission on Friday, PM's Office Minister Varathep Ratanakorn said. The EC would be invited to Government House to discuss Pheu Thai Party's resolution on the matter decided on Sunday, he said.
A conclusion on a national referendum about changing the charter would be known within two weeks, Varathep said.
Opposition and Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has said Pheu Thai's move to get another Constitution Court ruling on changing the charter was just a tactic to buy time.
He said the public had no doubt about the Constitution Court ruling but they want the government to delay the process since it is not urgent.
At the Pheu Thai seminar on Sunday, it was proposed that educational institutions study ways to amend the charter.
The Opposition leader also responded to former-PM Thaksin Shinawatra's remark that politics this year would be a struggle between wisdom, lip-service and diction. Abhisit believed politics would be more about abuse of power by those in high authority.
"The government is actually the one that uses diction that has polarised the country such as the word Ammart (bureaucrats) and Prai (servant). If Thaksin wants to be Ravana, let him be,'' he said.
Meanwhile, the Nitirat Group of lawyers at Thammasat University yesterday proposed its version of charter amendment that includes amnesty for politically-motivated wrongdoers while a 5-member committee will be appointed to consider.