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Deposed Thai PM urged to defy court ruling

English.news.cn   2014-05-08 16:41:32

BANGKOK, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Deposed Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was on Thursday suggested to stay in power in spite of Wednesday's ruling of the Constitutional Court, which removed her from office.

Former Thai parliament president Ukrit Mongkolnavin advised that Yingluck defy the court verdict, which he said was ironically "unconstitutional" and continue to perform as head of a caretaker government.

Yingluck, Thailand's first woman prime minister, bade good-bye to a crowd of people who had gathered and gave her morale support. following Wednesday's ruling which convicted her guilty of earlier abusing powers.

Given the court ruling which took immediate effect, the lady leader was deposed as acting premier alongside nine members of her cabinet, which had approved the transfer of Thawil Pliensri from the post of secretary general of the National Security Council in 2011.

The court said such transfers were "illegitimate" and intertwined with "hidden agenda and vested interests", though Yingluck earlier testified before the court to dismiss the allegations.

The transfer had been intended to pave way for the naming of Pol Gen Preowpan Damapong, related to Yingluck, as national police chief, according to the court verdict.

Preowpan is brother of Khunying Podjaman Damapong, the ex- spouse of Yingluck's brother, former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

However, Ukrit said Yingluck was legally obliged to continue to perform as caretaker premier until a new election has been held and a post-election government has been set up in accordance with the constitution.

The Election Commission will further discuss with the caretaker government next week on the election, tentatively scheduled for July 20.

The polling body had earlier planned to do so this week, according to the agency's officials.

"The Constitutional Court's ruling was ironically unconstitutional because it had failed to abide by the rules of law and the constitution in the first place," Ukrit said.

"For that reason, Yingluck need not obey such rulings while the caretaker premier is legally obliged to perform in accordance with the constitution's provisions primarily designed to keep the transitional running of state in continual, uninterrupted fashion, " Ukrit said.

No vacuum of power could exist if the caretaker premier continued to perform, pending the nationwide polls which are yet to be held by the Election Commission, according to the ex- parliament president.

Besides, the Constitutional Court waived up a petition seeking judicial endorsement for the naming of a non-elected prime minister to replace the deposed Yingluck by a Senate speaker.

Ukrit also called on the Election Commission to conduct a public referendum alongside the nationwide polls to see if most voters may have agreed to the court ruling which has resulted in the removal of Yingluck or not.

In addition, he called on a minimum of 20,000 people who may have disagreed with such "unconstitutional" judgments to raise a public petition calling for impeachment of the judges attached to the Constitutional Court.

The Senate is constitutionally empowered to impeach top officials of the executive and judicial branches if finally found guilty of charges.

Meanwhile, a non-elected senator commented that Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan, who was named acting premier in place of Yingluck by the caretaker cabinet on Wednesday, is not constitutionally authorized to submit a royal decree for the new election which is yet to be approved by the Thai monarch.

"The constitution does by no means allow an acting deputy premier to take action on behalf of a deposed premier pertaining to the submission of a royal decree," said Senator Kamnoon Sithisamarn.

The senator argued that Niwatthamrong is merely an acting deputy premier who has been given the chores of a premier but the former will not have as much authority as the latter.

In another development, anti-government protesters headed by former deputy premier Suthep Thaugsuban planned to hold a mass rally in the heart of Bangkok on Friday, while pro-government demonstrators led by ex-Pheu Thai (for Thais) Party lawmakers Nattavut Saikua and Jatuporn Promphan will gather en masse in the capital's northwestern outskirts on Saturday.

Editor: Yang Yi
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