Saturday, April 21, 2007

Deconstructing Thitinan: New Constitution Written to Punish Thaksinistas

Designed to prevent monopoly

The new constitution drafted under the auspices of the generals is one that is anti-Thaksin, anti-Thai Rak Thai and anti the 1997 charter


Bangkok Post

As it formally enters public discourse, the first draft of the new constitution already appears in trouble. The more its contents are scrutinised, the greater the opposition from myriad pressure groups. As the draft is discussed, deliberated and amended acrimoniously in both the public sphere, the Constitution Drafting Assembly and the Constitution Drafting Committee over the coming weeks, its fundamental premise is clear.

The first draft of the new charter is designed to prevent the monopolisation of Thai politics that was seen under overthrown prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's five-year rule. It is practically a revenge on the so-called Thaksin regime and a rejection of the hard-won principles enshrined in the previous 1997 ''people's charter''.

What kind of country writes constitutions over and over again just because some people don't accept their political opposition!

They should have provisions in the constitution:

Thais have the right to throw temper tantrums and overthrow the government when they don't get their way.

Thai generals have a right to overthrow government when they don't like military reshuffles.

Thai generals have a right to overthrow the government and don't have to provide reasons for doing so until a year after the coup, and those reasons don't need to be related to anything that government actually did wrong.

Thais have the right to overthrow their government when they can't win an election on their own accord, so they can fix the rules in the next constitution so they might have a chance to pick up more seats in parliament.


hobby said...

Fonzi said...
"This is what I said way back in 2001.

I think the country has made a massive mistake to trust Thaksin with so much power. Now he has control over both private and public mass communication. He will use his new overwhelming mandate to put his own people in positions of power, at the expense of the traditional power brokers and people with influence. Also, I said that the political opposition(The Democrat Party) was totally worthless and won't be able to make a stand against him.

I said, in the end, the military will have to come in and check Thaksin's power, from a theoretical standpoint, and because he is a arrogant asshole who won't listen to anybody and will step on too many toes(especially concerning money), notably the monarchy and sidelined generals in the military.

Also, I have read many political theory books, including Dr. Chai-Anan Samudavanija, who has a theory on the cyclical nature of Thai politics.

If you go back to the last coup, there are many similarities also.

Lastly, this not just about Thaksin. The corruption in this country is deep and wide, mostly involving the military and its allies in the bureaucracy and old capitalist elite. Thaksin is a parvenu who was upsetting the old order. Regardless of what you think of him, you can't take that out of the analysis.

There has been a war going on between the old royalist/military elite and the new Chinese capitalist elite for decades. The peasantry is just a pawn in their stupid games.

In the current political situation. Thaksin, even though he had a lot of power, really is nothing but a patsy for deeper issues. He is the
illusion in a sleight of hand trick.

In other words, just because Thaksin is gone, nothing is going to change, except that the traditional elites have regained their lost ground.

My stand is that unless the country grounds itself in a constitutional system where the law is the last word, then we might as well give up on this stupid charade and go back to a absolute monarchy.

And in context of the Thaksin crisis, not every constitutional mechanism was used to get rid of him, and quite frankly, going back to a constitution that limits the people's powers even more wont change a thing".

- What were the other constitutional mechanisms that were available, but not used, to get rid of (or at least check) Thaksin?

From what I have seen of the new draft, I do not like it in it's entirety, however I would like to see some clauses from it taken up in an amended 1997 constitution.

For example, the 2 term limit does not fix everything, but just adding it to the 1997 constitution might bring about an effective opposition (within the dominant party) - a role the Democrats failed at against TRT.

Fonzi said...


Look at the constitution that I have linked on the right.

It has a big list of things that can be done to get rid of corrupt politicians.

I'm going to break it down in the future, but it is something that will take a lot of effort, so please be patient.