Monday, October 23, 2017
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FOUR members of the Resistant Citizen group have filed a petition with the Bangkok Military Court, opposing a move to have them tried at the military court.

Anont Nampa, Sirawit Serithiwat, Pansak Srithep and Wannakiat Chusak yesterday made an appointment with the court to deliver their first testimonies in the case after being accused of violating the National Council for Peace and Order’s ban on political rallies. The Pathumwan Police Station police arrested them after they led a rally at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre on February 14 where they called for an election next year.

Prosecutors of the military court later filed a criminal suit against the four, accusing them of breaching NCPO order No 1 7/2557.

Pansak said the military court accepted the petition questioning the authority of the military court over civilians.

The military court ordered prosecutors to have the Pathumwan District Court set up a committee to rule on the court’s jurisdiction.

He said the military court and the Court of Justice were also considering which court has the authority to try the case against former education minister Chaturon Chaisang.

He said he did not accept the authority of the NCPO because he believes the junta does not run the country democratically. If the committee appointed by the Pathumwan District Court decides that the case against his group can be tried under the military court, he would see if the reason given were justified.

Meechai seeks PM meet on charter job

Posted by pakin On September - 29 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Legal expert Meechai Ruchupan wants to meet for talks with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha before deciding whether he will chair the new Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said Monday.

Mr Wissanu said Mr Meechai will discuss the matter with Gen Prayut after the prime minister returns from the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday.

Mr Wissanu earlier admitted he had asked Mr Meechai to head the new charter drafting panel. Media speculation about Mr Meechai taking the panel’s helm has been rife.

Mr Meechai did not set any conditions for his participation, Mr Wissanu said.

He only wanted to ask the premier who will also be appointed to sit on the 21-member charter drafting committee.

Gen Prayut, in his capacity as the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) chief, has 30 days to pick new charter drafters after the National Reform Council (NRC) on Sept 6 rejected the draft charter written by the now-defunct charter drafting committee led by Borwornsak Uwanno.

The NRC itself was also dissolved.

Mr Wissanu said the charter drafting process is a major task and charter drafters will have to race against time to finish their jobs. In light of this, it is natural for anyone who might chair a committee to want to know about the other members’ background so they can work as a team, Mr Wissanu said.

If Mr Meechai accepts the invitation to head the drafting committee, he can also propose some charter drafting candidates for Gen Prayut to consider, the deputy prime minister said.

Mr Wissanu said three or four other people have also been approached to chair the drafting panel if Mr Meechai declines the offer. Mr Wissanu refused to disclose who they are.

Mr Wissanu said there are about 30 potential panel members, adding the list of potential candidates will be cut down to 21 before submission to the prime minister for a decision.

Mr Wissanu also said the chairman of the new drafting charter panel will not necessarily be a legal expert.

Anyone who has made an honest living can be a candidate for the position, he said.

He added the interim charter also prevents the charter drafters from holding any political office for two years after finishing their job, to prevent any conflict of interest.

When asked if Mr Meechai, who is also an NCPO member, can help shorten the charter-drafting process, now set at six months, if appointed to lead the drafting panel, Mr Wissanu only said the role of NCPO members is different from that of charter-drafting panel members. His experience in working for the junta is regarded as an asset, as it could speed up the process.

Meanwhile, National Legislative Assembly president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai said Monday he knew nothing about a report the NCPO would approach Gen Jira Komutpong, a former NRC member and a former Judge Advocate-General, to chair the new CDC if Mr Meechai turned down the offer.

Mr Pornpetch also said it is up to the prime minister to decide whether to appoint NLA members to sit on the new CDC.

Trust the junta not to hog power, says Prayut

Posted by pakin On March - 12 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WIssanu InsIsts substantIal changes can stIll be made to the new charter

PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday asked for public trust in his government and reiterated that members of the junta would not stay in power after the new constitution comes into effect.

The junta and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) yesterday acknowledged the first draft of the new constitution completed by the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC).

He urged the public to trust the “driver of the Thailand car.”

“We have replaced the brakes and other spare parts,” he said.

Prayut was speaking at the Army Club on the sidelines of yesterday’s meeting of the five post-coup bodies – the NCPO, the Cabinet, the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), the National Reform Council (NRC) and the CDC.

‘Gear up for next elections’

He said yesterday’s meeting was aimed at reporting the progress of the five bodies in their efforts to solve the country’s problems.

He urged the relevant agencies to gear up for the next general election after the new constitution comes into effect.

He called on all parties not to cause conflicts for the country and said that his government was working on ensuring social justice.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said changes can still be made to the new constitution.

The National Reform Council (NRC) will next month deliberate the final draft before referring it to the government.

“More changes can still be made at that time, even on the major principles of the constitution,” he said.

Wissanu, a legal expert, said any of the five junta-appointed agencies could even make substantial changes to the draft charter, such as deleting or adding entire sections.

Wissanu, who also attended the meeting, was responding to concerns that members of the junta might attempt to stay in power after the new constitution comes into effect.

The meeting was attended by key leaders of the five bodies, including Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, NLA President Phornpetch Wichitcholchai, NRC President Thienchay Kiranandana, and CDC Chairman Borwornsak Uwanno.

It was the third meeting of the five organisations, which came into existence following the coup last May.

Security was tight at the meeting, with a joint force of police and soldiers guarding the area around Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road.

POLICE released on bail the four leaders of a group that gathered on Saturday night to mark last year’s February 2 general election. They had been arrested for organising the rally by more than 300 people in front of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.

Three of them were re-|leased after depositing Bt20,000 in cash each as a guarantee. Another was released after a lawyer gua-ranteed him. They were identified as Sirawait Serithiwat, Phansak Srithep, Wannakiart Chusuwan and Anon |Nampha.

The rally breached the National Council for Peace and Order’s (NCPO) rule 7/2014, which prohibits any gathering of more than five people.

The incident took place on Valentine’s Day at the Pathumwan intersection – |in front of the Bangkok |Art and Cultural Centre – |when the Resistant Citizen group gathered to commemorate last year’s February 2 general election, which was nullified.

The gathering was under the theme “My Beloved Election” and was joined by around 300 people. It also attracted some attention from passers-by in the vicinity.

The group began the event by imitating the action of going to the polls, saying they were preparing for the upcoming election, which is due to be held next year.

The four leaders will be summoned for an investigation on March 16 before the case is filed with the Military Court.

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