Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Nation: Will Surayud Remove Sonthi?

PM: Sonthi may be removed as chairman of anti-vote buying panel

The Nation

Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said Thursday that Deputy Prime Minister Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin would be removed as chairman of the national committee to fight vote buying if the Election Commission rules that the Council for National Security is biased against the People Power Party.

Surayud said he was awaiting a ruling of the EC before making a decision on Sonthi's chairmanship of the anti-vote buying committee.

The PPP has filed complaint with the EC that the CNS, when headed by then army chief Sonthi, had issued a confidential document, instructing the Army to pick on the PPP to try to prevent it from winning the upcoming election.

Surayud said the government would handle the issue with impartiality.

Now, here is an article in the Bangkok Post which says that the CNS is guilty:

EC cites CNS for ordering suppression of its opponents


The investigation committee of the Election Commission (EC) ruled the Council for National Security (CNS) had failed to be neutral by issuing an order in a classified document to suppress its opponents. Copies of the document ended up in the hands of the People Power party which counted itself as the target of the suppression order.

It was a close vote:

A source on the committee said the majority cited Article 57 of the election law, which prohibits any government officials from abusing authority to unfairly treat any candidate, and Article 74 of the 2007 constitution, which requires government officials to remain impartial of politics.

The minority did not think the CNS was in the wrong. They cited Article 309 of the 2007 constitution, which legitimises any actions under the interim charter carried out before the present constitution. This included the CNS instruction.

They felt the order was a ''follow-up mission'' of the Sept 19, 2006 coup which the CNS engineered.

If those idiots on the minority of the EC use this logic for the rest of the election season, we are in for some interesting rulings.

1 comment:

fall said...

Article 309 of the 2007 constitution

I know this will come back to bite at the end. Theoretically, the rest of 4 committee should have also cite this reason. I guess some people still have their head screw right.

But really, if article 309 is a legitimate cover-all. Then any investigation would be a farce.