Pheu Thai hits back at charter court

The Constitutional Court is not working for the people because it was installed by the Council for National Security (CNS), Pheu Thai Party leader and caretaker Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan said on Sunday.

The Pheu Thai leader made the comment after the court on Friday issued a statement denying accusations by the government's Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (Capo) that the court would "rule beyond the constitution" to disqualify caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra who is accused of breaching the charter in her transfer of National Security Council  (NSC) secretary-general Thawil Pliensri in 2011. The court accused Capo of speculating on the future and of making veiled threats, adding that the security agency was acting far beyond the scope of its authority.

"The court was set up by the CNS, not the people, and this is why things have turned out this way. If the court was set up by the people it would work for the people, not the CNS," Mr Charupong said. The CNS staged the Sept 19, 2006 coup which ousted the Thaksin government.

Mr Charupong called on the charter court to respect of the voice of the majority to overcome the political conflict. People can have different views but they must respect the voice of the majority, he said.

On the National Anti-Corruption Commission's (NACC) handling of the case against Ms Yingluck, who has been accused of dereliction of duty over her role in the government's controversial rice-pledging scheme, Mr Charupong said the Pheu Thai Party will not surrender regardless of the anti-graft panel's decision.

"We can't think and make decisions for the NACC, but we'll never give up.

"However, we hope that (the NACC) will make a good decision. If not, you're on your own," the Pheu Thai leader said.

Caretaker Justice Minister Chaikasem Nitisiri said he was not concerned if the Constitutional Court decided to take action against Capo because the centre had discussions with the military, police and relevant agencies before issuing its announcement. Capo was merely expressing its views on the charter court and the NACC, he added.

"Actually, we (the Capo) are not interfering with the independent agencies but the people see that what they're doing is not right. We just want to remind them that they should think carefully before making decisions.

"There's unrest in the country right now and everyone has good intentions for the country," Mr Chaikasem said.

Tida Tawornseth, core member of the pro-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorhsip (UDD), said Capo told the Constitutional Court to do its job in an honest and straightforward manner because it was concerned that the court may intervene in the administrative work of the government.

Mrs Tida said there are three governing bodies — the legislative, administrative and judicial branches. The government was only asking the court to review its role and see if it was interfering in the work of the administrative and legislative branches, she said.

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