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Ukrit calls on charter court to withdraw Thawil case

FORMER SENATE and Parliament president Ukrit Mongkolnavin says he fears a bloodbath between rival political camps once the Constitutional Court hands down a verdict on the fate of caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. As a result, he has urged the court to relinquish its role and withdraw from the case.

The court is due to rule on whether Yingluck violated the charter and must be disqualified for an unlawful transfer of National Security Council secretary-general Thawil Pliensri.

Government supporters have voiced concern the court might overstep its authority in the case and plunge the country into a political vacuum - in the process also disqualifying the caretaker Cabinet.

Ukrit, who is also chairman of the Independent National Rule of Law Commission, said the court should not have accepted the petition in the first place because the controversy over Thawil's transfer has been decided by the Supreme Administrative Court.

Yingluck and her Cabinet are now carrying out their caretaker roles to conform with Article 181 of the Constitution after she dissolved the House of Representatives.

"Article 181 stipulates the Cabinet that has stepped down must carry out its role until a new cabinet replaces it. Wouldn't it be unconstitutional to fire them and stop them from complying with the charter?" Ukrit said.

He said the court must cease its role in this case because there was not a constitutional organic law to support enforcement of its verdict. He pointed out that the Constitution of 2007 allowed directives on court procedures and verdict enforcement to be carried out temporarily without the organic law, one year after the charter went into effect.

The former House president said that if all state agencies carried out their work within the frame of law, there was no chance of a political vacuum.

"A military coup is the only way to bring about a power vacuum. But whoever wants to stage a military coup or a judicial coup in this era is doing nothing short of committing suicide," he said.

He also criticised any attempt to seek a royally endorsed prime minister through Article 7 of the Constitution, saying that would be a violation of royal powers, adding that a new PM must be an MP and not a senator.

Ukrit insisted he had made these suggestions in the country's interests, not because of his close ties to the Shinawatras.




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