PM assigns Council of State to study charter court ruling for next move

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BANGKOK, Nov 22 – Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today said she has assigned the Council of State to thoroughly study the Constitution Court ruling on the charter amendment draft on the composition of the Senate.

The premier also expressed her worry about social divisiveness following the Court verdict which ruled that the government MPs and senators breached the charter in passing the bill to change the composition of the Senate.

Ms Yingluck said she has instructed the Council of State, as the government’s legal advisor, to consider what the government should do for the next step.

The premier called on all parties to comply with the law and help find a way out of the crisis.

Government spokesman Teerat Ratanasevi today said the prime minister called off her official visit to Singapore to meet with her Singaporean counterpart, scheduled for November 26-27, as a censure debate is set during the same period.

Meanwhile, the anti-government Network of Students and People for Thailand’s Reform today marched to Chamai Maruchet Bridge near Government House to submit a letter to Ms Yingluck demanding that she and her Cabinet suspend their duties following the court ruling.

The letter was handed to Satit Suthiserm, representative from the Office of the Permanent Secretary for the Prime Minister’s Office.

At the same time,  Prasan Maruekapithak representing the “40 Senators Group” and Wanchai Sornsiri today submitted an additional complaint to the Office of National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) seeking impeachment of the 312 MPs and senators who voted for the controversial bill.

Arkom Phonpornklang, lawyer for the pro-government movement, the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), filed a counter petition against the NACC move to investigate the case.

He said the anti-graft agency has no right to consider the case and the action of the 312 lawmakers cannot be considered as either corruption or malfeasance.

However, he said, the NACC’s continued investigation could violate the Constitution.

Mr Arkom said he, as a Thai citizen, will also file a complaint against the charter court next week, reasoning that the court’s consideration of the case has breached the Constitution.

Senate Speaker Nikom Wairatpanich said he will call a meeting next week of senators who were ruled by the Constitution Court to have breached the charter and will announce the group’s stance.

Mr Nikom said it is possible that the group will not accept the court ruling, in line with the stance of the ruling Pheu Thai Party which earlier announced its rejection of the court’s authority.

The Senate Speaker said he is unworried and is ready to clarify himself after the NACC accepted the impeachment petition against him.