Posts Tagged ‘Abhisit’
30/3/2010 (Nation) –The yellow-shirt People’s Alliance For Democracy (PAD) yesterday opposed political talks about a parliamentary dissolution. It said the solution proposed by the red-shirt protesters had a hidden agenda to help fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
PAD coordinator and secretary general of the New Politics Party Suriyasai Katasila, said the red shirts were not qualified to negotiate with the government as they were not representatives of a majority, but just Thaksin’s proxy.
“The government’s recognition of the red-shirt group is equivalent to recognition of a Thaksin regime – which we regarded as the root cause of the current political crisis,” he said.
The PAD called a meeting of its key members yesterday to take a stance in opposing the red-shirt proposal to end the on-going political stalemate.
Dissolution is a normal practice in the parliamentary system, but the red-shirt proposal aimed only to help Thaksin get amnesty for his guilt, the PAD said in a statement.
The red-shirt group, who are political rivals of the yellow-shirt PAD, should not use street protests, violence and innocent people as bargaining chips to achieve their goals, the statement said.
The PAD strongly opposed any move to rewrite the military-sponsored Constitution since it was not the root cause of the crisis, it said.
“We don’t oppose changes to the Constitution as long as that is done for public benefit, rather than the personal benefit of politicians,” the PAD said.
Political reform was the only real solution that could get the country out of the political crisis, it said.
Instead of negotiating, the PAD called on the government to enforce the laws to punish wrongdoers and end the illegal protest as well as bring peace to the country, it said.
The PAD called for its supporters to exercise utmost restraint and not to confront the red shirts. The PAD would soon call a meeting of its network to seek a solution to lead the country out of crisis, the statement said.
The opposition Pheu Thai Party said yesterday it will lodge a petition with international organisations – and a court challenge – over the new government delivering its policy speech at a venue outside parliament yesterday.
Pheu Thai claims the move, which enabled MPs from the Abhisit Vejjajiva government to avoid a mob of red-shirt protesters, contravened the constitution.
The government yesterday delivered the policy speech to members of the House of Representatives and the Senate at the Foreign Ministry as the anti-government Democratic Alliance against Dictatorship (DAAD) continued to block entry to parliament.
Pheu Thai MP Prakiart Nasima said delivering the policy speech outside parliament was against Article 88 of the constitution |and parliamentary meeting regulations.”Speech delivery outside the parliament is against the rules, and the norm and tradition of Thai democracy,” he said. “We want to inform the international community since internal mechanisms cannot handle the situation.”The opposition party also plans to ask the Constitution Court to nullify the policy speech session. However, many pro-government academics doubted there was a legal basis to challenge the switch in venue.
Former constitution drafter Komsan Phokong, from Sukhothai-Thammathirat University, doubted that the Constitution Court would be able to rule against the move.”The constitution does not bar the government from delivering the speech outside the parliament building,” he said.
Thammasat University’s Dean of Law Faculty Somkid Lertpaitoon said the President of Parliament had authority to move the meeting venue in case of emergencies. The President could also call the meeting with short notice in advance during a state of emergency, said Somkid, who helped draft the last charter.
Deputy House Speaker Apiwan Wiriyachai insisted his party would submit the case to the Constitution Court as they felt it was misconduct to move the meeting venue without consent of all parliamentarians.
The President of Parliament should make the appointment for meetings in writing, he said, claiming that notice of meeting appointments via short message phone-notes was against the rules. “The Constitution makes clear that norm and tradition apply for the matters not written in the charter,” Apiwan said. “This was the first time we have conducted a meeting against the norm and law,” he said.
Yasothon MP Piraphan Parusuk said President Chai Chidchob broke regulations by only giving an hour’s notice of the change in venue for the meeting when he should make appointments for meetings three days in advance.
Prime Minister Abhisit said he saw nothing wrong with the move as the President of the Parliament had authority to convene the meeting when and where he deemed appropriate.
Nikom Viratpanich, Vice President of the Senate, also said the meeting for the policy speech was legal as long as they met requirements for a quorum (the number of MPs needed before such a meeting is deemed official.
December 19, 2008
The new prime minister came out of the considerably hostile session relatively unscathed but also unmistakably aware that his perfect English, clean political record and unblemished life honours could not buy the friendship of the Western media.
He will worry about that later, though. For now, he will keep in mind how his mentor, Chuan Leekpai, was embraced by the global media when he was prime minister, only to fall flat on his back after stepping on a land-reform banana peel.
And he will remember how the strong backing predecessors Samak Sundaravej and Somchai Wongsawat enjoyed from all of the leading foreign media outlets failed to extend their besieged governments’ brief life spans. Abhisit’s problems lie at home. The biggest challenge is how to exploit assets before they turn into liabilities and change existing liabilities into assets. Here are the positives.
He is under no pressure to amend the Constitution.Newin Chidchob on his side means rowdy and massive red-shirt protests are harder to mobilise. His government will be one with a sizeable northeastern representation and a stronger economic team. And Thaksin Shinawatra remains on the run, reportedly with a fast-shrinking war chest.
In addition, Abhisit’s party will not have to rule while looking over its shoulder at the Constitution Court all the time. He will not have to keep one eye on the military every other day. And the opposition, with the exception of Chalerm Yoobamrung, may include the biggest number of unqualified speakers in Parliament’s history.
The bad news is obvious. It’s “Sleeping with the Enemy”, not “Romeo and Juliet”. Much will depend on the Newin faction, which from now on will walk a very thin line between being Abhisit’s biggest asset and his most dangerous liability.
How the new prime minister maximises Newin’s northeastern influence and keeps him in the “assets” list will determine how long his government may last.
There will be fewer provocative factors or crisis stimulants. But that does not mean the national divide will not grow deeper and then fester. Economic woes may trigger a chain reaction, and there is no room for a corruption scandal.
Which brings us to the most important stability criterion. The Abhisit government, no matter how fragile its composition appears, may have enough flexibility to make it through the next few months. But corruption can easily change that, and Abhisit’s priority is to make sure the “mandate” that was questioned internationally on CNN is not deflated locally.