Yingluck, Chalerm confident of court ruling

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

Ms Yingluck said this in reply to questions on Monday at Government House on the Constitution Court's scheduled hearing of testimony from both opponents and proponents of the bill on July 5 and 6, before ruling whether it contravenes Section 68 of the constitution.
It is not known when the ruling will be
Asked whether the government had contingency plans to handle any problems which might arise following the court's ruling, the premier said she would rather not comment on that. However, she believed the court would uphold justice and base its decision on facts.
On a suggestion that the political situation might heat up again, because groups supporting and opposing the bill could take to the streets to apply pressure on the court, Ms Yingluck said she would like all sides to stay within the law when exercising their rights and freedoms. This would ensure peace and confidence in the country, which was now weathering problems caused by the crisis in the global economy.
All concerned, including the red-shirt supporters, should respect each other's opinions and comply with the law, she said.
Kwanchai Praipana, leader of the Udon Thani red shirts, on the weekend threatened to call supporters to "the biggest rally ever" if the Constitution Court rules in favour of the bill's opponents.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung said he believes the court will dismiss the petitions against the charter amendment bill.
Many senior judges, legal experts and academics had voiced the same opinion, that the proposed amendment of Section 291 did not contravene Section 68 of the constitution, he said.
The attorney-general also had the same opinion, according to Mr Chalerm.
The deputy prime minister said even if the court ruled that the bill was unconstitutional, it would not affect the government since Prime Minister Yingluck is not a member of the Pheu Thai executive. She could set up a new party in 60 days and the government could continue to administer the country.
Personally, he would like the new party to be named "Thaksin", Mr Chalerm said.
Mr Chalerm said all sides should not worry too much about the president of the Constitution Court and those not concerned should avoid giving opinions and leave it to the court to make a ruling.
However, he said he was not sure what the situation would be like if the ruling went against the people's feelings.

Former prime minister Anand Panyarachun (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)

Meanwhile, Constitution Court spokesman Somrit Chaiwong said the name of former prime minister Anand Panyarachun has been withdrawn from the list of witnesses to testify to the court over the constitutionality of the charter amendment bill.
The proposal for Mr Anand to be included in the list of witnesses was made by Gen Somjet Boonthanom, former chief of the secretariat of the Council for National Security that toppled the government of Thaksin Shinawatra in the Sept 19, 2006 coup.
Mr Somrit said it was Gen Somjet himself who withdrew Mr Anand's name from the witness list.
He said the court would hold a meeting Tuesday to prepare the list of witnesses of both sides, who would give their testimony on Thursday and Friday.
Gen Somjet admitted he named Mr Anand as a witness without asking for his permission, because the Constitution Court wanted the names of witnesses in a hurry on June 29.
He said he did so because Mr Anand was chairman of the drafting assembly of the 1997 constitution and his opinions were required.
Gen Somjet said he tried to contact Mr Anand during the weekend but was not successful.  He apologised to the former prime minister for not asking him beforehand.
Mr Somrit said the court would not make a ruling on July 6 because it would have to go through the testimony of all witnesses and decide whether it was adequate to make a ruling. If not, more witnesses could be called to testify, he added.

from: Bangkok post

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