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Constitutional Court

FM warns of possible violence if court rules against Yingluck

The red shirts may stage a rally that could turn violent if the Constitutional Court rules against the caretaker premier over her unlawful transfer of the security czar, caretaker foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said Thursday.

The Court on Wednesday agreed to consider a petition by a group of senators against Yingluck Shinawatra over an alleged conflict of interest in her removal of NSC chief Thawil Pliensri. If found guilty of breaching the Constitution, Yingluck will lose the premiership automatically and her entire Cabinet could be removed too.

Surapong, referring to the mass rally by the reds planned for Saturday, said "it was definitely possible (that violence could take place)."

"Such a vacuum is not healthy and chaos will almost surely follow," he said, adding "I'm not trying to instigate violence but I see the pressure and that Thais are hottempered. Chaos can break out at any time. I am not threatening the court, I am just speaking the truth," he said.

By "vacuum" Surapong was referring to a situation that would occur if Yingluck were disqualified as the country does not have a House of Representatives but the Constitution requires that the premier comes from among the MPs.

The Supreme Administrative Court last month ruled that Yingluck's transfer of Thawil was illegal.

Whether the whole caretaker Cabinet must go if Yingluck is disqualified remains a controversial issue.

Pheu Thai's key members insist that Yingluck has the right to transfer Thawil. If Yingluck were to be disqualified as the antigovernment group wishes, this would result in a political vacuum as a nonelected premier is not possible under the Constitution.

Meanwhile caretaker Labour Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung said that if Yingluck were disqualified, a deputy premier could replace her and take charge.

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said the court's acceptance of the case did not mean it would definitely disqualify Yingluck. The order to transfer Thawil was ruled as unlawful but the court would have to consider if Yingluck had violated the Constitution by interfering in the transfer for her benefit of that of her group.


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