King: It's a mess
In his most direct and critically timed political message, HM questions legitimacy of April 2 poll, but rules out exercising his power under Article 7
His Majesty the King speaks to Administrative Court judges yesterday at Klai Kangwol Palace in Hua Hin. He rejected calls for royal intervention in the political crisis.
In his strongest political message, His Majesty the King yesterday told the Administrative Court and the Supreme Court to explore all legal solutions to get the country out of the current "political mess", saying that an election that produced a one-party Parlia-ment is undemocratic.
The King criticised the Constitution Court for failing to accept complaints about the polls, and ruled out the possibility of a royally appointed prime minister.
"You have the right to say what's appropriate or not," His Majesty told the Administrative Court judges during a Royal audience at Klai Kangwol Palace in Prachuap Khiri Khan. "[I] did not say the government is not good. But as far as I'm concerned, a one-party election is not normal. The one-candidate [situation] is undemocratic. This is about administration. Do your best. You, not the government, have to resign if you cannot do the best of your duty."
The King urged the Adminis-trative Court judges to work with the Supreme Court and the Constitution Court to find solutions to resolve the impending political impasse.
His remarks came as the deadline for the new, controversially elected House of Representatives to convene its first session draws extremely near. It remains to be seen if the government, which is said to be planning to submit a royal decree to convene the House, will proceed with the plan.
The Constitution requires the House to convene its first session within 30 days of the April 2 general election.
Opposition MPs earlier petitioned the Administrative Court to invalidate the election, alleging that the caretaker government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawa-tra had scheduled the election only 37 days after the House dissolution to give an advantage to candidates from Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai Party. The court rejected the complaints, saying it had no authority to rule on such a matter.
"Without the House of Representatives, there won't be democracy. We have many types of courts and councils, every one of them have to work in unity and find solutions," the King told the judges.
His Majesty rejected calls to intervene by exercising Article 7 of the Constitution to name a royally appointed prime minister as demanded in the past few months by the People's Alliance for Democracy, opposition parties and some academics.
"Article 7 does not empower the King to make a unilateral decision. It talks about constitutional monarchy but does not give the King power to do anything he wants. If the King made a decision, he would overstep his duty and it would be undemocratic."
His Majesty the King referred to his appointment of Prime Minister Sanya Dharmasakti in 1973, saying that his action
was democratic because there was still a House of Representatives, House speaker and deputy House speaker to function under
the Constitution at the time.
"Installing a royally appointed prime minister means appointing the prime minister without any rule. At that time there were rules. Professor Sanya was royally appointed as prime minister and his appointment was then legally countersigned by a deputy House speaker. Go review history."
His Majesty later spoke to Supreme Court judges, emphasising the importance of democracy and that they should work with the Administrative Court to find a solution to the current constitutional crisis since there are now less than 500 MPs.
"Now I have suffered a great deal because whatever happened there will always be calls for a royally appointed prime minister. It is not democratic. Go back and read Article 7. This is a wrong citation of Article 7. The article only has two lines; that is, whatever not stated by the Constitution, then should follow the traditional practices. But asking for the royally appointed prime minister is undemocratic. It is irrational, it is a mess.
"People have hope in courts, especially the Supreme Court. Other courts also see that the Supreme Court is honest, rational and knowledgeable because you study law. If the country does not follow the rule of law, it will not survive."