Thaksin’s shadow over Pheu Thai and election scandal rejected

Photo courtesy of The Economist

The Constitutional Court unanimously rejected a high-profile petition accusing the Pheu Thai Party of being dominated by paroled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The petition alleged that Thaksin’s influence and the controversial digital wallet scheme used in their election campaign violated section 49 of the Constitution.

Decha Chairat, the petitioner, didn’t stop there. He also accused Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin of concealing crucial information from the public about the qualifications of Phichit Chuenban when he appointed him as a minister, despite Phichit being unqualified.

However, the court found the claims insufficient. They ruled that there was not enough evidence to prove that the Pheu Thai party had exercised its rights or liberties to overthrow the constitutional monarchy, as required by section 49 of the charter.

In a related but separate petition, Thoranut Munsri aimed at the Election Commission, accusing it of negligence for allowing the Move Forward Party to campaign on a policy to amend the lèse majesté law, reported Thai PBS World.

The court dismissed this petition as well, stating that the petitioner failed to specify the actions he wanted the court to take. Without a clear directive, the court had no choice but to drop the case.

In related news, Thaksin postponed his court hearing on allegedly violating Section 112 of the Criminal Law, also known as the lese majeste law, scheduled for today, citing a Covid-19 infection. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) rescheduled the hearing for June 18. The 74 year old former politician was accused of violating Section 112 during an interview with South Korean reporters in Seoul on May 21, 2015.

In other news, former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra sparked fresh hope for Thailand’s democratic future, declaring that the country will soon see a return to full democracy under the Pheu Thai Party-led government with a new people’s charter.

In a poignant Facebook post marking the 10th anniversary of the coup that ousted her caretaker government on May 22, 2014, Yingluck expressed renewed optimism.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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