Pheu Thai MPs, senators defy court’s order


BANGKOK, May 4 – The government’s Pheu Thai Party has released an open letter objecting the Constitution Court’s consideration of a petition against a parliamentary amendment of the Constitution.

Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said the open letter, signed by 312 national legislators, publicly announced the group’s disapproval of the court’s role in the issue and insisted that the attempt to rewrite Section 68 of the charter will carry on.

A group of senators led by Somchai Sawaengkarn recently petitioned the Constitution Court seeking an injunction of a proposed bill to amend the Constitution.

The court, which accepted the senators’ petition for consideration, has ordered lawmakers advocating the charter amendment to give their reasons within 15 days. The deadline is May 15.

Mr Prompong said the 312 MPs and senators will defy the court’s order, insisting that the Constitution Court is not authorised to accept the petition.

There is no allowance in the charter that entitles the Constitution Court to expand the scope of its power, he said.

Regarding a move to relieve Constitution Court judges of their duties, Mr Prompong said it’s up to Parliament which will require at least 100 MPs to support the move.

“This is not a conflict or pressure on the court. We only want each party to perform its duty as stipulated by the Constitution. If lawmakers fail to protect sovereignty, the country’s democracy will be weakened and the Constitution Court will be above other organisations including independent groups,” he said.

Opposition Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said the Pheu Thai party’s open letter will widen conflicts in the country, calling on MPs and senators to respect others’ authority.

He said he strongly opposed to the move by 312 MPs and senators against the role of the Constitution Court concerning the proposed rewrite of the charter.

He called on the prime minister to give priority to national interest and public order rather than the interests of her family.