Bangkok — Thailand’s Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday that the charter amendment seeking to make the Senate a fully elected chamber violated the constitution, in a decision that looks likely to increase tensions between the various political groups and protesters.
The judges voted five to four that the amendment violates section 68 of the constitution, which prohibits attempts to overthrow the monarchy and unconstitutional efforts to seize power, reported the Bangkok Post.
The court reasoned that the charter amendment would destroy the check-and-balance system between the House and Senate by having all senators come from elections.
It said the amendment would give “politicians” total control of parliament, which would be a step backwards for the country.
The court, however, rejected the opposition’s request to consider dissolving government coalition parties and disqualifying MPs.
The judges also voted six to three that the process used to pass the charter amendment in parliament was improper and violated Section 291 of the constitution.
It said the House Speaker and his deputies wrongfully cut short the time for the debate on the issue, thus denying MPs the right to speak on the amendment.
The red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship had already announced prior to the verdict that the court had no authority to rule on the case, as did many of the ruling Pheu Thai Party lawmakers in parliament.
Just hours before the court’s decision, red-shirt leader Weng Tojirakarn told the crowd gathered to rally at Rajamangala stadium, “We won’t go home till we wipe out reactionaries from Thai soil,” according to a report from The Nation.