Chiangrai Times – Thailand’s Constitutional Court has dismissed opposition petitions challenging the legality of government amendments to the constitution.
In reading the compromise verdict, Judge Nurak Marpraneet said the charter could be amended section by section, though it could not be entirely rewritten.
Nurak then said “there are not enough facts to show” that the charter amendment aimed to topple the constitutional monarchy. “What the complainants indicated in the petition was merely speculation,” he said.
Under the terms of Friday’s court ruling, the lawmakers who want to amend the charter would have to change the legislation so that it would tackle each section individually, or possibly arrange a voter referendum.
Pheu Thai lawmaker Korkaew Pikulthong said the decision set a bad precedent, giving the court “the authority to intervene in the affairs of the legislative branch.”
Nevertheless, the decision “has eased tension among the public, and that’s somewhat acceptable,” said Korkaew, who is also a leader of the allied pro-Thaksin Red Shirt movement that occupied downtown Bangkok for two months in 2010.
Had the court sustained the complaint, it could have ordered Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s party dissolved just a year after the landslide election that brought it to power. Many feared such a ruling would have provoked mass street protests and possible violence.