D-2 : countdown to dissolution… or explosion ?

It seems that the sharpest angle of the Bermuda Triangle is tuesday 2 december, when the Constitution Court will achieve the legal process in the parties dissolution case… and could hand over its verdict soon after.

Day minus 2.

Many of us are trying to understand (and find out) the legal consequences of a guilty verdict, of the dissolution of the PPP (read the call from Bangkok Pundit).

The thai journalists and the foreign medias are so incompetent (or afraid or both) than it’s almost impossible to have a clear understanding of the legal texts (Constitution, elections laws etc.) and their links.

Where are the famous thai academics ? Where are the lawyers ? They are perfect to comment on frivolous and stupid issues… They love it. They love to be heard. But when confronted to serious stuff… nobody anymore. A deafening silence.

It’s unbelievable.

Because, it’s a freaking terra incognita we have ahead.

Let’s assume that the PPP is disbanded.

-unlike when the TRT was disbanded (may 2007), the PPP is in power. It leads a coalition at the House. That changes everything of course.

-it means that the coalition would collapse… The PPP would loose its MPs. The government would collapse.

Section 106 of the Constitution states :

Membership of the House of Representatives terminates upon:

(8) loss of membership of the political party in the case where the political party of which he is a member is dissolved by an order of the Constitutional Court and he is unable to become a member of another political party within sixty days as from the date on which the Constitutional Court issues its order. In such case, his membership shall be deemed to have terminated as from the day following the date on which such period of sixty days has elapsed;

-So PPP MPs would loose immediately their membership… unless -apparently- they join another party. They would have 60 days to do so.

-does it mean that the day after, all PPP’s MPs just change party, then the House convenes, and then elect a new Prime Minister… from the ex-PPP’s ranks. And back to square one ?

Nowhere we can see a clear answer to this question.

Everybody bet on a the dissolution of the PPP, but nobody dare to think about the day after.

-let’s go further. Let’s assume that PPP is disbanded, but House can’t convene (because no quorum) or all the MPs can not change party… and the process drags on… Who’s is going to handle the government ?

-and if there are real obstacles… who would be able to call for fresh elections ? No government, no House to do it.

Etc. etc. etc. I can’t list all the questions. Because I am not a lawyer.

We are left in the dark.

But beyond those (important) question marks… we could have more urgent issues to deal with.

A guilty verdict would clearly ignite the fury of the government’s supporters.

We can’t compare with TRT dissolution (at that time, Thailand was ruled by a Junta). But to disband the party democratically elected less than one year ago… is a totally different deal…

And it could illustrate the fact that no one is thinking about the legal consequences of the Constitution Court’s verdict… because it would just be pointless : with an explosion of violence between reds and yellows… the army would of course step in.

And back to Junta’s happy days with some “Council for National Security” or whatever fancy name they could find this time. 😉

Therefore, why bother to call lawyers now to try to see through the mess ?

12 Responses to “D-2 : countdown to dissolution… or explosion ?”


  1. 1 paperback 30 November 2008 at 1:11 pm

    @ ThailCrisis

    Just from reading sec 108 para 8 I would suggest that the dissolution of a party has no immediate effect on the House of Representatives at all. The last sentence says: “In such case, his membership shall be deemed to have terminated as from the day following the date on which such period of sixty days has elapsed;”. So nothing happens as long as the MP can show that he became a member of a new party at least on the 60h day after the court order.

  2. 2 ThaiCrisis 30 November 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Yes I understand the same. But it’s only one side of the problem.
    Does the PPP have another party ready ? Can a MP run a new elections… if he changes party ? There is a delay to respect. So this could have an incidence too.

    Dissolution – new elections – change of party – timeframe… all those items are linked together, mixed with differents laws (Constitution, Elections Laws etc.).

    We need laywers to study all the links, the different scenarios and the small technicalities within the texts that could change everything.

    For the moment, this work might be done, but it’s not made public. It’s an outrage.

  3. 3 Krid 30 November 2008 at 1:27 pm

    @paperback: Interesting, but Thai courts, even the highest, have an infamous and recent record of violating even the most basic tenets of jurisdiction, namely
    applying penal laws retroactively which is a primal violation of the rule of law (TRT dissolution),
    basing their decisions on “he or she deserves it/doesn’t deserve it” rather than on the written laws (several over the last two years and before),
    deciding in deferrence to higher authorities and interference, in exchange for payment or not (anonymous callers etc.).
    In Thailand more than in developed countries the adage holds true that “on the high seas and in front of a court you’re in god’s (Buddha’s) hand”.
    So, sadly, in the end, the written law might turn out to be meaningless, again. The outcome and the details of the aftermath probably have long been decided, likely with complete disregard for the welfare of the country and her people.

  4. 4 chinesethai 30 November 2008 at 1:29 pm

    ThaiCrisis:

    Does the PPP have another party ready ?
    —- Yes, Puea Thai Party (PTP) has already been registered. Retired General Chaiyasit Shinawatra and Ms Yingluck Shinawatra as possible Party Chief.

    Can a MP run a new elections… if he changes party ?
    —- It doesn’t matter!!! They can still send their proxies (wives, husbands, daughters, sons, uncles, aunts, sisters, brothers, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, close friends) to run in the election.

    Thaksin has already had Plan A, Plan B…. in place.

  5. 5 fall 30 November 2008 at 2:16 pm

    A guilty verdict would clearly ignite the fury of the government’s supporters.
    That’s the whole point. Enough chaos to justify the court appoint interim-government and army to step-in. They can be furious, tearing their hairs, and putting dirt on their face to their heart contend. But this is the constitutional court, final judgement. No appeal, baby.

    This is the problem when court get involve with politic. It tainted the perception of the juristic system.

  6. 6 Bedwyr 30 November 2008 at 3:37 pm

    @Fall.

    Interesting concept that. The Thai judicial system becoming tainted.

    Bit like a whore objecting to being called a tart.

    Bedwyr

  7. 7 Doug 30 November 2008 at 4:03 pm

    May I point out one small error (it’s just distracting to see)? It’s “the Bermuda Triangle,” not “Bermuda’s triangle.”

  8. 8 John 30 November 2008 at 4:07 pm

    So after General Anupong Paochinda (he keeps quiet for a while) according to The Nation “Air Force Commander-in-Chief ACM Itthaporn Supawong Sunday repeated the military’s call for Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat to dissolve the House. He said the call was agreed upon during a meeting of the situation monitoring committee and agreed by heads of government agencies, academics and representatives of the private sector. The Air Force chief said the government had nothing to fear because it could win the next election again.”

    So if this doesn’t solve anything, why organise new elections?
    Or better: what is the plan behind the plan of the military?

    Let alone of course that in no other country heads of government agencies would be allowed to act like this, but alas.

  9. 9 ThaiCrisis 30 November 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Doug : corrected. Thanks.

  10. 10 ThaiCrisis 30 November 2008 at 4:10 pm

    -John. Yeap. I saw too this piece of totally twisted rethoric. Article about it already scheduled (to ridicule him). He deserves my “bozo” picture.

    With military like him, it’s really too easy. Not a lot of neurons under those uniforms…

  11. 11 Jaded 30 November 2008 at 4:57 pm

    I am hesitant to point this out but I can’t see how it would be illegal to mention this. After the end of the absolute monarchy the parliament of Thailand proclaimed Ananda Rama 8. It did this when Rama 9 waived his right to chose his own successor. The parliament proclaimed the current king Rama 9 by a unanimous vote. Does this mean that a parliamentary vote, or the vote of some special body that has been set up for the purpose, would be necessary to confirm a succession? Or is it sufficient that the wishes of the current King, as expressed in 1974 are sufficient for this purpose?

  12. 12 Jaded 30 November 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Oops I meant Rama 7 waived his right obviously


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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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