Giles Ji Ungpakorn
The Constitutional Court overthrew Prime Minister Yingluk for political reasons. There was nothing just or legal about it. I write this as a Red Shirt socialist who does not and has never supported Taksin.
1. Tawin Bliansee was appointed to the national security post after an illegal coup in 2006. This abuse of power was not considered by the court
2. Tawin Bliansee was responsible for drawing up the bogus “anti-monarchy” conspiracy map which helped to justify the shooting of nearly 90 unarmed red shirts. This alone would be legitimate grounds for sacking him and starting prosecutions against him for conspiracy to murder or at the very least conspiracy to libel. The court did not consider this.
3. Ajarn Worachet Pakeerat, from the Nitirat group of progressive law academics, explained that the case brought before the Constitutional Court was about moving Tawin. Yet their ruling was almost exclusive based on Yingluk appointing Priawpun Damapong to replace him, which was a separate issue and was not brought to the court as a case. Worachet considers the court’s decision to be illegitimate. I would say that it is a corrupt abuse of power by the courts.
4. Priawpun Damapong, the brother of Taksin’s ex-wife, was side-lined by the illegal coup makers in 2006 and deliberately ignored for the job of police chief by the illegally appointed Abhisit government which came to power in 2008. Despite his legitimate seniority, a policeman more his junior was appointed instead. So Yingluk was appointing him to redress the injustice that he had received. This was not considered by the court.
5. There is no evidence that either Yingluk or Priawpun made any corrupt gains as a result.
6. The Thai elites are all linked together in a web of friends and relatives. A good example of this is that Korn Chatikavanij is related by marriage to Abhisit Vejjajiva. The important issue to consider is that since 2006 there has been a long history of unelected public officials who have disobeyed or even conspired to overthrow the elected government. Tawin himself appeared on Sutep’s anti-democratic stage before the court ruling and while he was still a government official. One way of trying to overcoming this problem is for the elected government to appoint officials who they know they can trust. This is not corruption or abuse of power.