Tuesday 22 July 2014

Absolute Powers and Absolute Fascism - Thailand's New Interim Constitution

Today Thailand's new interim constitution has just been ratified by the Thai King and is now available online, in Thai.

To say it is a document that cements the fascistic, dictatorial powers of the junta would be an understatement. In effect, this document throws Thailand back 50years or more to the time when the vicious and corrupt Field Marshall Sarit Thanarat ruled the country with a brutal iron fist.

Even more shocking is that the interim constitution also returns Thailand to a further-flung point in history - that of the pre-1932 absolute monarchy.

The powers granted in this document to the King are extraordinary and if anyone questioned the hand of the monarchy in the recent coup these questions now seem to have been answered.

Here are some translations/interpretations of several of the key parts of the document. They speak for themselves.

Section 6 - NCPO will appoint all 220 members of the National Legislative Assembly of Thailand.

Section 19 - PM will be appointed by National Legislative Assembly of Thailand.

Section 24 - The King has power to appoint judges, senior military and senior civil servants and permanent secretaries (yes, he can now do that directly). 

Section 28 - Reform Council will contain 250 members and all is appointed by the NCPO.

Section 32 - Constitution Drafting Committee will contain 36 members and all is handpicked by NCPO, Reform Council and the cabinet.

Section 44 - it gives NCPO power above the constitution - it simply says if NCPO wants to do anything to “support” the country’s unity then such act will be considered legal and constitutional. This is basically a blanket extralegal power which means they can murder, imprison, torture or do whatever they want as long it "supports unity".

Section 47 - it guarantees that all NCPO’s orders since May 22 are considered legal and constitutional.

Section 48 - it grants impunity to the NCPO for any "wrong-doing act" committed before or after May 22. This would include any and all acts committed by the Army during the massacre in 2010. What's interesting is that this section actually uses the phrase "wrong-doing" which strongly implies that they know they had committed criminal acts. 

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