Press : “Judicial coup murmurs”

Shawn W.Crispin, an acute observer of thai politics, wrote an interesting piece : “Judicial coup murmurs”.

He’s talking about the risk of dissolution (read here) of the PPP, the collapse of the coalition. He says that the verdict of the Constitution Court could come “soon” after november 26. And the PAD could push for… an interim authority.

However, a top leader within the anti-government People’s Alliance for Democracy […] predicts a wholly different scenario after the widely expected guilty verdict, one that exploits a perceived loophole in the Thai constitution and would amount to a sort of judicial coup.

The Thai charter allows politicians from disbanded political parties 60 days to regroup under a new party banner. However, the charter fails to indicate explicitly who or what agency would have the legitimacy to govern in that interim period.

The PAD source claims that Constitution Court, Supreme Courtand Administrative Court judges have discussed establishing a “Supreme Council”, consisting symbolically of nine members, to fill the political vacuum.

The proposed authority – which the PAD source likened to China’s State Council or cabinet – would be empowered to appoint an interim prime minister and cabinet, and also pass legislation by decree. (Asia Times)

15 Responses to “Press : “Judicial coup murmurs””

  1. 1 chinesethai 23 November 2008 at 11:06 am

    I always read Shawn Crispin on Asia Times. Actually I have following his works since he wrote for FEER. Some of the works by his and his colleagues, Mike Vatikiotis, was an upset for Thaksin, who was reported to be attempting to meddle with the Royal Succession at the time. Shawn Crispin is one of very few western analysts, who knows Thailand inside-out and covers analyses on Thailand in a neutral manner, dwarfing that of the sensational author of the King Never Smiles, Paul Handley.

    Let’s see if his insight materializes. And I hope that it will because Thailand’s stability is vital as the Royal Succession is under way.

  2. 2 fall 23 November 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Once and if the said council is formed, it would presumably move quickly to push through the controversial political changes the PAD has advocated through its protests, including a move towards a part-appointed, part-elected Lower House of parliament, where conservative institutions, including the military and courts, would hold sway over the appointment process

    Possible, but highly unlikely. Would a handful of judges dare to smear themselves further with politic, self-promotes to ruling responsibilities, and present a plan for the king to approve? It would spell the end of Democracy and the beginning of Judiocracy…

    But still not solve problem in the long-run. When new election comes with ex-TRT contest as (insert-new-party-name-here), the PAD would resurface.

  3. 3 Bedwyr 23 November 2008 at 5:00 pm

    I agree with Fall to the extent that a handful of judges would not dare. But it wouldn’t be a handful of judges, it would be someone working with the judges. The same person that approved the last coup. The ‘unseen hand’ is real enough.


  4. 4 Anon 23 November 2008 at 6:01 pm

    The beginning of Judiocracy? Judiocracy began two years ago when the judges’ boss ordered them to resolve the crisis. To you, it’s smearing themselves with politics – but better smearing themselves than smear their boss.

  5. 5 chinesethai 24 November 2008 at 2:13 am

    Well, yes, it won’t solve the problem in the long run.

    It seems that even long-time observers of Thai politics, foreigners and Thais alike, can’t come with any sound way out of the crisis.

    Only the death of Thaksin will solve it.

  6. 6 Gloomy Observer 24 November 2008 at 3:37 am

    It’s frighteningly plausible if you ask me. An easy, peaceful “Thai” solution of Phu yai solving the problem – by removing everyone’s right to choose for themselves! If this comes to pass, this country will be in serious trouble… Democracy will be totally caged; and do you think those lucky few who get to run “New Politics” will ever want to give back their powers when things return to normal? Wishful thinking!

    More likely those who want to protest will have to switch to real violence to get their message across…

  7. 7 thaichris 24 November 2008 at 7:31 am


    I fully agree with your conclusion. Only the disaperance of Thaksin will provide a way out of the current dead lock. But I think it is only a matter of time until somebody sacrifies himself and take Thaksin with him.

    I think, this was the major reason for Thaksin to leave Thailand in August. And that is why he moved to Dubai where he feels relativaly save. In London his security team wasn’t possible anymore to protect him and the GB goverment wasn’t willing to give him additional protection. It was also the reason for the withdrawl of the visa. The GB goverment was affraid to be in the press again as they ghave been when a russian dissident was murdered in London some years ago.

  8. 8 chinesethai 24 November 2008 at 8:57 am


    Your response is just in time Thaksin freshly lashes out at the British Government for being ‘undemocratic’!!

    His stated concept of democracy appeared to be conflicting with his behaviours. I hope that ThaiCrisis would have this piece of news up on this blog shortly.

    Thaksin : UK will be sorry

  9. 9 fall 24 November 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Does “car-bomb” case ring a bell? I am actually surprise that Mr. T live this long.
    But for something to happen to him NOW, the UDD will not stop. There will definitely be blood on the street.
    The king will have to intervene, democracy will return, there will be a reckoning with PAD leaders, and ex-TRT faction could make a martyr out of Mr. T and win the next election.
    Then back to square one, but this time the 2nd-generation PAD will loose. Because there is no evil-reincarnate to target the hatred and all the great speakers are behind bars(and most likely “commit suicide” in jail, to silence any possible lead).

  10. 10 chinesethai 25 November 2008 at 2:59 am

    <b.I do not believe that HMK intervening at this time will help solve the crisis. This possible bloodshed is totally different from the past ones in that one faction led by Thaksin show a very hostile gesture to the Royal Palace. At the end of the interview in Dubai, Thaksin once more challenges the Royal Palace to grant royal pardon to him. Thaksin’s defiance is awkward because the Royal Pardon or amnesty can only be granted at descretion of the Sovereign of any country only after the lawsuit has fully been fought in court by the defendant. Thaksin has not gone through the process but even jumped bail to Britain, seeking an unsuccessful asylum and even barred from re-entry to his shame.

    Thailand’s past bloody conflicts were simply between the top brasses and the people. However, both sides were still respectful of the Monarch. But in this era, the UDD (Nor-Por-Chor), backed by Thaksin, does not but even intends to insult the Sovereign on a daily basis.

  11. 11 Bedwyr 25 November 2008 at 5:58 am

    Fall, hi.

    “The king will have to intervene, democracy will return, there will be a reckoning with PAD leaders, and ex-TRT faction could make a martyr out of Mr. T and win the next election.”

    respecting your views, none-the-less, imho you could not possibly be more wrong. Your underlying assumptions are the same as many people hold, but they are wrong. Not talking about Thaksin here, there is at least no doubt about what *he* is.


  12. 12 Bedwyr 25 November 2008 at 9:15 am


    Thaksins comment about a royal pardon is only cosmetic, he is just playing the popular Thai ‘loyalty to HMK’ card. The same old refrain that every self-obsessed Thai villain sings. Thaksin is being insincere in doing this, same as when he says he is ‘returning to politics’ knowing full well he never left politics. He is insincere in his references to HMK because he knows well enough who is giving the nod to all that has befallen him but he will win no favours if he creates a conflict of loyalty (thogh that already exists widely enough to be giving grave concern in certain quarters.

    Being the vengeful and vindictive shit that he is, he will engineer his revenge if it takes until hell freezes over.

    Thailand is in for a rough ride; he is banking on a high-profile death quite soon and I think he will time his run better this time.


  13. 13 chinesethai 25 November 2008 at 10:54 am


    Yeah, your outlook is not that different from mine. That’s why I can only put my last hope in what Shawn Crispin calls “judicial coup”. However, whether it will work depends on the integrity of the persons who will put the plan into action following the coming high-profile death.

  14. 14 ThaiCrisis 25 November 2008 at 11:12 am

    Well gentlemen, I don’t share your enthusiasm.

    For one simple reason : it wouldn’t be sustainable.

    We might imagine one exception : if the existence of this “supreme council” is linked directly to the high profile death… Following directly this event… Only this event could if I may say “legitimate” the creation of this authority.

    But that’s not what the PAD’s source is telling to Shawn Crispin.
    For them, the tipping point would be the dissolution of the PPP.

    I don’t believe the people would accept this solution. It’s just impossible anymore.

    Same for the military : they know very well that they blew off their last chance in 2006… Too late.

    Unless of course we start to speak about “real” military coup, it means with violence, the army shooting at the people (Burma style).

    But the nanny coup (2006) or a judicial coup… it’s just too late. People are smarter now.

  15. 15 fall 25 November 2008 at 11:54 am

    Well, my view was one possible scenario. It might or might not play out like that. Without Thakky’s money, the strong coalition might not exist and the Dem would emerge victorious over factional parties. Who knows the future?

    But the *he* and his political leaning, that’s so-oh-sensitive subject.

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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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