thaicables – It's Your Right to know the Truth!

05BANGKOK4367 PARLIAMENT AMENDS CONSTITUTION; CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OF BAGGAGE SCANNER DEAL LAUNCHED

leave a comment »

“35834”,”7/5/2005 8:30″,”05BANGKOK4367″,

 

“Embassy Bangkok”,”UNCLASSIFIED”,”05BANGKOK3635″,

“This record is a partial extract of the original cable.

The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

“,”UNCLAS BANGKOK 004367

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/BCLTV

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV, TH

SUBJECT: THAILAND: PARLIAMENT AMENDS CONSTITUTION; CRIMINAL

INVESTIGATION OF BAGGAGE SCANNER DEAL LAUNCHED

 

REF: A. BANGKOK 3635

 

B. BANGKOK 4238

 

1. (U) SUMMARY: The Thai Parliament approved a

constitutional amendment revising the method for selecting

the nation\’s National Counter Corruption Commission, the

nation\’s chief independent corruption monitor. Based on

petitions filed by members of the opposition Democrat Party,

the Office of the Attorney General opened an official

criminal probe into a controversial baggage scanner deal that

was the focus of an unsuccessful censure motion against the

Minister of Transportation last week. Opinion polls show a

modest drop in public confidence in the Thai economy and the

ruling government\’s job rating. END SUMMARY.

 

CORRUPTION COMMISSION SELECTION PROCESS CHANGED

 

2. (U) On July 1, a joint session of Thailand\’s Parliament,

which consists of the 500 seat House of Representatives and

the 200-seat Senate, voted to amend the constitution by a

vote of 484 to 156 with 23 abstentions (35 members were

absent and there are 2 vacancies). Passed on its third

reading, the bill amends Article 297 by changing the

membership of the selection committee formed to select

members of the National Counter Corruption Commission (NCCC),

one of 5 independent organizations established by the 1997

constitution. The current 9 members of the NCCC were forced

to resign in May after the Supreme Court for Political

Persons found them guilty of malfeasance for raising their

pay allowances (Reftel A). The original Article 297

stipulated that members of 5 political parties, 4 of which

now exist, could be chosen to the selection panel. The

amendment changes that to one representative each of the

ruling government and one from the opposition side, without

stipulating the party names. Other panel members include:

the presidents (or Chief Justices) of the Administrative,

Supreme and Constitutional courts, the Election Commission

chairman, the Auditor General, the National Human Rights

Commission chairman, one of the three official government

Ombudsmen, and six university rectors. The amendment will be

sent to King Bhumibol for his approval and then published in

the Royal Gazette.

 

3. (U) All of the opposition Members of the House of

Representatives, both the Democrat Party (DP) and Chart Thai

Party (CT), voted against the amendment, claiming that their

own proposed constitutional amendment, which was blocked from

discussion of the joint session in committee, eliminated

political party representatives from the selection committee.

 

CTX SCANNER CONTROVERSY NOT OVER

 

4. (U) Meanwhile, the Office of the Attorney General (AG)

announced the formation of a panel to oversee the criminal

investigation of the controversial baggage scanner deal at

Bangkok\’s new international airport. The OAG has assigned

the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) of the Royal Thai Police

(RTP) with looking into allegations that bribes were paid by

a Thai contractors, hired by the US company InVision, to

secure a deal to sell scanners for baggage at the as yet

unopened airport in the eastern suburbs of Bangkok. The

investigation is based on complaints filed by DP Members of

Parliament. The commander of the RTP\’s Central Investigation

Bureau, which works with the CSD, stated to the media last

week that he would assign 30 officers to the case.

 

PUBLIC CONFIDENCE DROPS SLIGHTLY BUT THAI RAK THAI STILL

POPULAR

 

5. (U) Opinion polls released since the end of the

unsuccessful censure debate against Transport Minister Suriya

Jungrungreat (Reftel B), indicate public confidence in the

economy dropped in June. A Suan Dusit Ratchaphak Institute

poll using 100 as a mean standard of confidence, polled 5,771

people during the last week of June, and calculated an 89.97

confidence rating, compared with 100.13 in May. However, the

government\’s overall performance rating dropped only 5.78

points, from 108.67 to 102.89. A separate poll showed that

over 55% of respondents still favored the Thai Rak Thai party

over the Democrats.

 

BOYCE

Written by thaicables

July 7, 2011 at 5:38 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: