Section 7 still last resort: Meechai

Section 7 of the constitution does not directly authorise the appointment of an interim prime minister, but can be applied to fix problems which if no other provisions in the constitution can, says legal expert Meechai Ruchupan.

On his website meechaithailand.com, Mr Meechai on Thursday clarified remarks he made earlier about the section.

Mr Meechai, member of the Council of State and a former Senate speaker, said some news reports suggested that a prime minister cannot be installed under Section 7, which is not the case.

For example, he said, if all cabinet ministers die and there are no provisions in the charter that deal with the situation, Section 7 must be used as a last resort.

On Wednesday, he said Section 7 of the charter does not authorise the appointment of an interim prime minister. The section can be used as a way to deal with a problem when no other provisions in the charter deal directly with it.

Section 7 stipulates that ''whenever no provision under this constitution is applicable to any case, the matter shall be decided in accordance with constitutional practice in a democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State''.

Meanwhile, former Constitutional Court president Wasan Soypisudh said yesterday the constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, must be interpreted, applied and enforced to ensure the country can move forward.

Speaking in a special lecture organised by the Rotary Club in Bangkok yesterday, Mr Wasan said it will be good if rival parties can meet each other halfway, but if that does not happen, one must opt for the best approach.

Mr Wasan said rival political groups currently interpret the law to their own advantage.

He said an election does not represent democracy in its entirety, adding that any efforts to proceed with an election without considering possible disruptions to the poll would lead to a waste of time and money, as was the case in the ill-fated Feb 2 poll.

He said he did not think the People's Democratic Reform Committee is guilty of acts of insurrection, as alleged.

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