The circus continues : the new PM accused (already) of violating… the Constitution

Another coup de theatre. Let’s remember that Somchai was elected PM less than 2 weeks ago…

Premier Somchai Wongsawat yesterday faced fresh allegation of constitutional violations, which if found to be true, could lead to his disqualification as an MP and prime minister.

Appointed Senator Ruangkrai Leekijwattana said he would file a complaint with the Election Commission to check whether Somchai had violated Article 267, 265 and 106 (6) of the Constitution by holding shares in CS Loxinfo that has a concession with CAT, and having his daughter hold shares in M Link a company that operates a state concession.

Ruangkrai’s earlier complaint against former prime minister Samak Sundaravej of violating the Constitution by hosting his cooking programme had resulted in Samak losing his premiership early this month.

He said he suspected Somchai may have disqualified himself since January 22 this year by allegedly holding shares in CS Loxinfo, which operates a state concession or is a contract partner of a state enterprise. That would be a violation of Article 265 (2), resulting in him being disqualified as an MP as per Article 106 (6), and disqualified as PM as per Article 171.

CS Loxinfo is an Internet service provider, sending and receiving satellite signals for local and international communications, producing telephone books, besides also being in the publishing and advertising business. The company is a contract partner of CAT with a licence to provide sending and receiving television signals and Internet via satellite for 22 years.

He said Somchai may also have violated Article 48 of the Constitution which stipulates that political office holders cannot hold shares or own companies that operate newspapers, radio, television and telecommunication businesses both directly or by nominees or in any indirect method. Article 182 (7) stipulates that a minister’s term will end if they have violated Article 267, 268 and 269 of the Constitution. (Nation)

I once wrote that virtually every thai politicians violate the Constitution, because they’re linked to business world… They have for many of them important wealth, shares etc. It’s an amazing maelstrom in which large families have interests, spreaded in many businesses, private or public, listed or not.

What is even more amazing is that knowing the laws (the first “scandal” about shareholdings happened during the Junta, last year, read here and here leading to the resignation of 5 ministers !)… why the politicians are not protecting themselves by just abiding by the laws ? Even if those laws are stupid and/or too stringent.

So let’s see how Somchai is going to defend himself.

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 30

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday agreed to look into an allegation that Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat has violated the constitution by holding shares in a private company. (Bangkok Post)

That’s the first step of the legal process.

3 Responses to “The circus continues : the new PM accused (already) of violating… the Constitution”


  1. 1 Bedwyr 29 September 2008 at 3:06 am

    “why the politicians are not protecting themselves by just abiding by the laws ?”

    Because they think that as Poo-yai, they don’t need to abide by the same laws as the plebs. It is all a part of the Thai psyche where you worm and weasel your way into a lofty position and allow that to make you feel good about yourself.

    Then of course, you are a teller not a doer. A maker of rules, not a follower of rules.

    No mystery, it is all very simple.

    Bedwyr

  2. 2 BangkokDan 29 September 2008 at 4:09 am

    Guess you’d have to fire the whole country if you absolutely want to stick to the letter of the law.

  3. 3 ThaiCrisis 29 September 2008 at 7:48 am

    Sure… But if they don’t agree… just change the Constitution.
    😉
    Problem : they can’t rigth now.

    So, back to square one.

    The Constitution says :
    -no shareholdings for PM and Ministers, with companies having state contract.
    -no shareholdings for PM and Ministers (over a limit).
    -And no shareholdings, direct or indirect, into medias/telecom companies.

    Period.

    -So does Somchai own, directly or indirectly, shares of a media/telecom company ? Is CS Loxinfo a “telecoms” company ? Does Loxinfo have “state contracts” ?

    -Does Somchai own shares in other companies (if yes, how much, to check the limit) ?

    It’s very simple. And Somchai can’t say that he didn’t know. The Constitution vas voted in august 2007…
    He can’t defend himself like the clowns of the Surayud government (Junta)… who were first all in denial… then “I didn’t know the rule”… then “those shares were given to me by my grand-grand father, I didn’t know” blabla, before to… resign full of shame.
    I mean I don’t really exaggerate : check here (“it’s my daughter !”) and here (“It breaks etiquette”).


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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.


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