ԴЪҸԻ (English)
June 2006 : Constitutional Court to final rule on political parties dissolution

HM the King ordered an opening of extraordinary Senate meeting.

OGA agreed with the EC on dissolution of 5 political parties on violating of the Political party Act and will forward the case to the Constitutional Court .

The Constitutional Court rejected the petition to rule on the outgoing senators authority.

The EC endorsed totaled 163 senators.

The NRC proposed setting up 3 organizations to solve southern violence but 50 bombs exploded in one day in the three provinces.

The cabinet approved in principle the establishment of Suvarnabhumi Metropolis.

The Criminal Court granted bail to the three election commissioners pending trail on malfeasance charges related to the April 23 second round election.

Extraordinary senate meeting

HM the King ordered the House Speaker to call for an extraordinary senate meeting on June 26 to appoint a panel to scrutinize the National Counter Corruption Commission candidates.

Due to the ongoing dissolution of the House and termination of the Senate, the outgoing senators will act as the meeting members.

Results on political party hiring

The Election Commission (EC) on June 6 submitted to the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) the report of the Election Commission sub-committees investigation on the big political party hiring small parties to run in the April 2 general election, chaired by former judge Nam Yimyaem. The report found Thai Rak Thai had hired small parties to contest the poll to improve its own odds of winning seats, which it said breached election law.

Due to the EC did not recommend the Thai Rak Thai party be disbanded for election fraud or not, the Office of the Attorney-General returned the commissions report back to the EC on June 19 citing the EC chairman, in his capacity as the registrar of political parties, should recommend on what should be done. The EC on June 22 resubmitted the report in which a source said found that TRTs alleged fraud of violated article 66 (1) and (3) by hiring small parties in running the poll.

OGA agreed on parties dissolution

An eleven-member fact-finding panel of the Office of the Attorney-General (OGA) voted unanimously that there were grounds to dissolve the 5 parties for violating article 66 of the Political Party Act. The proposal was submitted by the Election Commission on June 22 and their offences were as follow:

Three small parties; Prachatippatai Kao Na, Pattana Chart Thai and Pan Din Thai- were found to have committed offence on issuing fraud statement to their candidates to run in the poll.

Thai Rak Thai has hired small parties in running the poll to circumvent the requirement that its unopposed candidates must win at least 20 percent of the eligible votes to win a House seat and Democrat, meanwhile, has 1. campaigned for no-vote 2. hiring small parties to smear Thai Rak Thai 3. anti-polling in Songkhla province.

The cases will be submitted to the Constitutional Court for final ruling and article 66 has 3 sub-clause as follow:

(1) subverting the democratic system and constitutional monarchy, or acquiring executive power by unconstitutional means.

(2) engaging in an act detrimental to democracy and constitutional monarchy.

(3) engaging in an act deemed a threat to national security, public order or ethics and morality.

However, if the Thai Rak Thai and Democrat are to be dissolved finally, it will not be an end to the political party leader, executive member, director and secretariat since they may be re-elected and appointed to the cabinet members or even the prime minister on the conditions that they do not take positions of the new party.

Court rejected bid to impeach EC

The 14-member Constitutional Court, on June 22, rejected the House Speakers petition to rule on the EC chairman and fellow commissioners on their qualifications and status on grounds that the House Speaker has not yet exercised his authority on consideration whether the petition, submitted by 35 outgoing senators, is constitutional or not. Regard to the House Speaker did not ruled, the petition is only a discussion.

The Court also voted 7 to 6 not to consider the request for the impeachment of EC chairman and fellow commissioners on ground that the petitioners, submitted by the 35 outgoing senators, were no longer incumbent senator. The court stipulated that only incumbent senators or MPs can exercise power under Article 142 of the Constitution and the caretaker senators, whose term ended on March 21, now have limited duties, as stated by Article 168 of the Constitution, which do not include gathering signatures to oust an election commissioner.

EC endorsed 163 senators

The Election Commission (EC) on July 6 and 22 endorsed more 31 and 23 senator candidates respectively making totaled 163 senator-to-be while the rest 37 un-endorsed are those who have been complained. Among the recently endorsed senators is Klanarong Chantik but none of the candidates who were on the Peoples Alliance for Democracy (PAD) campaign were not endorsed yet and Election commissioner Prinya Nakchatri said it will not take long before all cases are investigated and ruled.

NRCs plans for deep south

The National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) submitted plan to implement peace in the three southern border provinces; Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, to the government on June 5. The 132 pages report has 3 key recommendations on long term, short term and political measures as follow:
Short-term measures:

  • Set up unarmed, joint peacekeeping forces spread headed by the army and including police and civilians.
  • Support the negotiations and dialogues.
  • Stern action against those who abuse power and sent only good and understanding officials to the deep south.


Long-term measures:
  • Land reform and redistribution of natural resources.
  • Tackle unemployment.
  • Improve the court system.
  • Allow Sharial Law.
  • Promote and respect cultural and social diversity.
  • Make Yawi an additional working language.


Political measures:
  • Pass a law specifically to bring an end the violence in the area.


Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, upon receiving the NRC report, has agreed to the plan and assigned deputy PM Gen.Chidchai Wannasathit , to implement the NRCs proposals immediately if possible while the private sectors question the possibilities of 1. Making Yawi a second language 2. Set up unarmed, joint peacekeeping forces 3. Allow Sharial Law and 4. Support the negotiations and dialogues.

Privy Council chairman Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, on June 25, rejected the NRCs proposal on using Yawi as a second official language citing the US as an example, despite the fact that a number of languages are widely spoken there, English is the sole official language. This idea was confirmed by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra when he said, on June 26, that Thailands official language must be Thai only, although the use of other languages would be promoted. Dr. Nithi Auesriwong, in his weekly column, was the first scholar disagreed with using Yawi a second language due to it directly involve with authorization and if the officers have to communicate with the local in Yawi, the dialogues surely be worse while NRC commissioner Kodhom Areeya said working language is not official language and using Yawi and Thai as a bilingual would secure the officials to 80 percent of the people in the three southern province who speak Yawi.

Chidchanok Rahimula acting dean of the faculty of political science Pattani University said using Yawi should be promoted not instructed and if Malay Muslims are encouraged to learn Thai for better job opportunity it is a vise versa to encourage Thai to learn Yawi for better understanding but the official language is definitely Thai.

Dr. Nithi also commented that Sharia law was once applicabled in the reign of King Rama IV when domestic cases were settled in regards to the Islamic law and even today normally local disputes were settled by the respected Muslim scholars, Imam, To Kru or mosque committee.

Abhisit Vejjajiva Democrat leader said the party is in favor of increasing local participation while many local Islamic leaders also support the plan.

50 bombs in one day in the south

Just over a week after the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) handed its report to the government 50 bombs blasted in the morning of June 15 in the three southern provinces, killing 2 people and injuring scores of state workers and civilians. 12 bombs were exploded in Yala, 18 in Pattani and 20 in Narathiwat. The bombs were planted inside state offices including the toilets of district offices and public library, and private property including convenience stores and food shops. A car bomb outside the Pattani provincial hall killed a security volunteer and wounded three others. The other fatal blast occurred at a local eatery in Khok Pho district, about 100 metres from Khok Pho police station.

According to the source, the insurgent groups BURSATU smuggled explosives and other weapons into Narathiwats Tak Bai district. The way they were able to set several bombs at the same time proofed their unity and supportive but the bombs were not severely damage due to the insurgent wanted only to show their capabilities that they are able to plant bombs even in government offices.

Regards to speculation that the June 15 bombing was set to mark the anniversary of the establishment of Pattani state national day in 1997, police chief Pol. Gen Kowit Wattana disagreed while army chief thinks it is possible and said more public participation could solve the violence problems in the deep south.

The situation in the deep south flared afresh with widespread bombing largely targeting government offices and railway stations and Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra called a meeting on July 19 and gave full authority to army chief Sondhi Boonyarataglin to bring the deep south under control.

Pol Lt-Gen Adul Saengsingkaew, commander of Police Region 9, said lastest information showed in 500 villages in the deep south there are activist groups, each divided into 5 sub-groups 1. The Ulama, responsible for recruiting and indoctrinating new members from local Muslim youth 2. The political affairs group, planned acts of violence, propaganda campaigns and spread rumours 3. The economic affairs group, raised funds to support their operations, some of the money reportedly came from drug dealers 4. The millitant insurgent group called RKK (Runda Kumpulan Kecil , compriseing 6 members and 5. Permuda , was made up of new recruits who mingled with villagers. Each insurgent are required to conduct 1 operation per month.

The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) on June 19 turned its attention to the unrest urging Thailand to heed cultural differences in solving the problems.

Suvanabhumi Metropolis

The cabinet, on July 20, approved in principle a draft bill on setting up Suvarnabhumi Metropolis as a local administration with status equal to a province, comprises of some districts of Bangkok Metropolitan and Samutprakarn province totaled 326,118.125 rai, including the whole district of Lad Krabang and Prawes, 110,218.125 rai, in Bangkok and whole area of Amphor Bang Pli and sub-district Bang Soa Tong, 215,900 rai.

Firstly, in the first four to eight tears, there will be an administrative body of Suvarnabhumi Metropolis chair by the prime minister or deputy prime minister and 10 members panel from 5 administration experts and 4 local body representatives. The panel shall supervise administration in accords to the objectives and designate policies and measures for plans, projects and budget under the implementation of an appointed governor.

Meanwhile, municipalities of Lad Krabang and Prawes will be established and local administrative bodies election will be held within 90 days after the enactment of the law. Furthermore, Kamnans, village chiefs, deputy village chiefs, village doctor and Tambon inspectors will also be appointed.

All missions, assets, budget and liabilities will be transferred from those two districts to the new City together with state officials and employees on the voluntary base. Suvarnabhumi City budget will come from central government allocation, general subsidy, government and private sectors subsidies and return from joint public-private investment.

Secondly, after the special administration body is fully run, the city will be divided into districts and sub-districts under Suvarnabhumi City council, City Mayor and consulting council. The city mayor shall control and responsible on administrative functions in accords with laws and supervise all local government officials up to the deputy mayor and there will be a panel of civil administrative commission.

The draft bill has yet to be scrutinized by the Council of State and it requires endorsement from the new cabinet before being vetted by the new parliament.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra confirmed that Suvarnabhumi Air Port will definitely be opened on September 28, 2006.

Court allows EC on bail

The Criminal Court granted bail to the three election commissioners pending trail on malfeasance charges related to the April 23 second round election.

The lawsuit was filed by Democrat deputy secretary-general Thavorn Senniem who accused the four of abuse of authority for allowing constituency-hopping by failed candidates.

Another lawsuit was filed by Democrat secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban accused the commissioners of negligence of duty for failing to investigate the Thai Rak Thai party for allegedly hiring small parties to run in the April2 snap election.
 


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