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06BANGKOK3673 THAI POLITICAL UPDATE JUNE 20: DUELING LAWSUITS

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“68692″,”6/20/2006 11:36″,”06BANGKOK3673″,

 

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,””,”VZCZCXRO4678

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O 201136Z JUN 06

FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9598

INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI

RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI

RHFJSCC/COMMARFORPAC”,”C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 003673

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/19/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, TH

SUBJECT: THAI POLITICAL UPDATE JUNE 20: DUELING LAWSUITS

 

Classified By: Political Counselor Susan M. Sutton, reason 1.4 (b) (d)

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: The Attorney General returned the Thai Rak

Thai dissolution case to the Election Commission on June 16,

saying the EC was legally required to identify what section

of law TRT was charged under, and what the legal penalty

should be. Statements from the Atty-General office indicate

that they are determined to avoid any procedural flaws in the

case that could make the eventual Court decision vulnerable

to appeal. The EC has until June 27 to return the case to

the Atty-General with a recommendation. The Democrats have

also testified before the EC on the TRT case against them for

trying to \”overthrow democracy.\” The EC is defending itself

against charges of malfeasance and abuse of power, and will

have its first court date on July 3. Some observers suggest

that the threat of legal penalties against just about

everyone may eventually lead to compromises that will allow

the political system to go back to work as usual. However,

we see no advocates for compromise yet. End summary.

 

TRT DISSOLUTION CASE

——————–

 

2. (C) The Attorney-General announced on June 16 that it

would send the Thai Rak Thai (TRT) dissolution case back to

the Election Commission. The EC forwarded the case to the

Attorney-General without specifying what sections of law TRT

had violated, and without specifying whether the party should

be disbanded as a result of its actions. The EC was

requested to respond by June 27. The Attorney-General

reportedly is concerned that, if it sent the case forward to

the Constitutional Court without the EC recommendation, it

would weaken the case and leave any Court decision vulnerable

to appeal. The EC has not yet stated whether it would meet

the June 27 deadline.

 

3. (C) We spoke today to Dej-Udom Krairit, the president of

the Thai Lawyers\’ Council about some of the legal questions

surrounding this case. He fully supported the

Attorney-General\’s decision, saying that the law clearly

required the EC to make a recommendation. If the EC makes a

recommendation, and the Attorney General reaches a different

conclusion, the two would form a joint committee to resolve

their different views. Ordinarily, he would expect this to

take a month to six weeks, but it might be expedited in this

case. Provided they eventually reached agreement that the

case was serious enough to require court review, the

Atty-General would forward it to the Constitutional Court.

It would depend on the Court\’s schedule how quickly they

would hear the case. He expected that the Court would

expedite this case, in line with the King\’s instructions.

 

4. (C) The lawyer also commented on some other aspects of

the case. TRT has complained that the EC subcommission which

prepared the damning — and subsequently leaked — report was

biased, because it never called any TRT witness to get the

party\’s defense. Dej-Udom said that this is normal practice

for such a subcommission. Their job is to examine the case

and see if there is cause for further investigation. TRT

gets its chance to defend itself when the case goes to court,

not in this initial investigation. Dej-Udom also said that

he had some knowledge of the TRT dissolution case, and his

impression was that it was very solid.

 

DEMOCRAT DISSOLUTION CASE

————————-

 

5. (C) The EC heard testimony late last week from senior

Democrats, defending their party against the charge that they

paid the microparties to frame TRT, and that their election

boycott and call for an \”Article 7\” prime minister

constituted attempts to \”overthrow democracy.\” The EC has

not given any indication when it would conclude this

investigation. Since the EC testimony last week, there seems

to be more concern that the case could hurt the Democrats,

politically at least, if not legally.

 

EC MALFEASANCE CASE

——————-

 

6. (C) On June 15, the Constitutional Court also granted

bail to the three remaining EC Commissioners, in connection

with a lawsuit brought by the Democrat Party. They are

charged with malfeasance and abuse of authority for allowing

\”constituency-hopping\” by failed candidates in the later

rounds of the April elections, and with failing to

investigate the charges of TRT election fraud in the hiring

of the microparties. The court set the date for the first

hearing on July 3.

 

BANGKOK 00003673 002 OF 002

 

COMMENT

——-

 

7. (C) Several interlocutors have raised the possibility of

some kind of compromise solution to the political crisis.

Dej-Udom, asked whether the fate of Thaksin, TRT, etc. would

be decided in the courts or by other means pointed out the

\”in our Thai history, we tend to decide things by

compromise.\” Although the case against the Democrat party

appears quite weak compared to the case against TRT, it may

be a piece of the puzzle that eventually leads to a

compromise solution, sparing both parties punishment in

exchange for some other concessions that would get the

political process back on track. However, no one yet appears

to be in a compromising mood. End comment.

ARVIZU

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Written by thaicables

July 12, 2011 at 4:54 am

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