Democrats slam Thaksin's criticism of court
Former premier Thaksin Shinawatra was assailed yesterday for attempting to discredit the Constitution Court and criticising its verdict in the charter-change case.Democrat Party MP Thepthai Senpong said that after the court ruling on July 13, Thaksin told his legal adviser he accepted the verdict even though he was not satisfied with every point made by the judges. But later, Thaksin and his cronies thought the verdict was an obstacle in their bid to amend the charter so they criticised the court through the foreign media.
Thepthai said Pheu Thai Party was seeking to amend the Constitution and he believed it had a plan to amend the charter in two steps. First, it will amend the articles that block its attempt to amend the whole charter such as Article 68 (paragraph 2) and Article 165 (paragraph 2) and once these are amended, the party would call a referendum to draft a new charter.
He said Pheu Thai could not amend too many articles because the procedure would be too lengthy and make amendments impossible. Besides, Thaksin couldn't wait that long for the Constitution to be changed in his favour, as he fears the current government may not complete its term.
Siam Samakki Group leader Prasarn Maruekpitak said Thaksin's remark against the Court's verdict was nothing short of confirmation that he was desperate to return home without having to face jail. Thaksin believed that the court's verdict on holding a public referendum to decide on amending the charter was an obstacle to his return.
"Thaksin is exploiting the red shirts by pushing them to intimidate the Constitution Court and using them to increase his bargaining power, and in the meantime he also pushes for charter amendment. His methodology does not benefit the government and the country but only brings about more conflicts,'' he said.
Pheu Thai Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit denied that some party MPs met Thaksin in Hong Kong to lobby for positions in a possible Cabinet reshuffle. He said they went to wish Thaksin well on his birthday and there was no political significance.
He said Prime Minister Yingluck had not given a signal for a reshuffle, though he believed that Cabinet changes would happen after the House reconvenes for an ordinary session. He dismissed as nonsense reports that Foreign Minister Surapong Towichukchaikul would replace Yongyuth Wichaidit as Interior Minister. He said those who spread such rumours wanted to create infighting in the party.
He said the PM trusted Yongyuth and if he was removed from the post, that would cause a stir in the party.
Prompong admitted that there might be a change in the economic ministers but not Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong, because the party believed he was doing well.