Bangkok, Thailand — As red-shirt members gathered for a rally in a Bangkok football stadium, 312 members of both houses of parliament voiced their opinion that the Constitutional Court had no authority to rule on a constitutional amendment bill that would change the Senate to a fully elected chamber. The court is due to deliver its verdict on Wednesday.
Red-shirt leaders have already announced they reject the court’s verdict regardless of its ruling, and are gathering for a prolonged rally to show its opposition to the court, as well as its support for the Pheu Thai-led government which is under pressure from anti-government protesters in Bangkok.
The 312 lawmakers say the court has overstepped its boundaries by considering petitions aimed at derailing the bill, a decision they attacked as interference in the legislative branch of government, said reports.
The bill was passed by a majority of both the House and the Senate, and was sent to His Majesty the King 50 days ago for approval. His Majesty has 90 days to make a decision.
Four petitions have been filed with the court, two by Democrat Party MPs and two by Senators, alleging that the bill would undermine the constitutional monarchy.
Analysts are uncertain whether the court will rule in favor of or against the petitioners, but the constitution says the court’s ruling is “binding”.
The red-shirt movement is wary of the prospect of a looming court decision, as previous court decisions have dissolved both the Thai Rak Thai and People’s Power parties, the forerunners of today’s pro-Thaksin Shinawatra Pheu Thai Party.
One of those decisions, in 2008, occurred when the People’s Power Party was the ruling party, and resulted in a new coalition government being set up by the Democrat Party.