The Thai King Speaks Out
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The Thai King Speaks Out

The Nation reports:
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HM the King has rejected on Tuesday calls to intervene in the political crisis by appointing royally-appointed prime minister and that the country could not be governed by a single party.
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/>He assigned Administrative, Supreme and Constitution Courts to resolve an impending constitutional crisis.
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/>In his first and rare public remarks on the issue, the King rebuffed increasing calls for him to grant a new prime minister after a resignation caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
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/>”It would lead to more chaos if there is no parliament and then we could not proceed with democratic rule,” the King said in a rare televised address. He was talking separately to newly-appointed judges of Administrative and Supreme Courts.
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/>Both opposition politicians and protest organisers had called for the king to name a new prime minister by basing their calls on Article 7 of the Constitution.
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/>The King emphasised that the constitution did not allow the king to do whatever he wants. “I will never do anything that go against the constitution and laws. Article 7 does not empower the King to name a prime minister. The calls for me to name the premier is not democratic.”
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/>”Some parties are calling for the king to exercise Article 7 of the constitution to appoint the prime minister, but the king cannot do that. It is against the law,” the King said.
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/>Talking about the present political crisis, the King said, “we have to find a way to solve the problem. We cannot have just one candidate. This is not a democracy.”

/>The Bangkok Post reports:
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His Majesty the King, in a rare address via the TV Pool, has asked the country’s top two courts to help solve a political deadlock.
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/>”Do not abandon democracy,” he said.
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/>He said judges of Thailand’s Supreme, and Administrative courts should help to resolve the situation.
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/>His Majesty addressed the judges of the two courts involved in the political system in direct words, telling judges of the Constitution and Administrative Courts:
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/>“It is also your job to help democracy survive,” he said. “It is necessary for all of you to study how your involvement can help to resolve the deadlock of the moment, and solve the problem. If you cannot do it (solve the problem), then it should be you who resign, not the government.”
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/>His Majesty said that Article 7 of the constitution does not empower him to unilaterally appoint a prime minister.
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/>The king said he was concerned that a “prolonged political crisis” could shake the country.
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/>Before His Majesty spoke, the government said it had drafted a Royal Decree that the (Lower) House of Representatives should convene, although it may run short of its statutory full quorum of 500 Members of Parliament.
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/>The decree was undated because of uncertainty of the number of MPs. A third round of elections will be held on Saturday, two days before the House is constitutionally mandated to meet.
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/>Acting Prime Minister Chidchai Vanasatidya said the decree was approved by Cabinet Tuesday afternoon,
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/>Pol Gen Chidchai said he considered such preparations a routine task of the overnment. He said it is yet too early to tell whether or not the issue will be forwarded to the Constitutional Court for a ruling.
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/>The constitution stipulates two separate events:
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/>- The House must meet within 30 days of a general election, which was help on April 2, and,
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/>- All 500 MPs must attend the session.
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/>As of today, only one of those conditions can be met. The outgoing government, under a caretaker premier, has indicated it would try to convene the Lower House even if few than 500 MPs are known.
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/>That might require the courts to step in to the crisis, as the king indicated.

/>COMMENT: The Nation’s use of words “and that the country could not be governed by a single party.” I wish we could have a direct quote from that part of the speech as it could be interpreted in a few different ways. I want to be careful on offering any interpretations of the speech and what it means – although I doubt that will stop Sondhi – so will report what the media are saying for now.
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/>More to come including any responses by PAD and the Democrats.
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/>UPDATE: The King’s speech is available from the Manager Radio site (although the sound quality is very bad).
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/>A transcript (in Thai) is available from here – the transcript doesn’t seem complete, The Manager seems to have a more complete transcript.
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ข้าพเจ้ามีความเดือดร้อนมาก ที่เอะอะอะไรก็ขอพระราชทานนายกพระราชทาน ซึ่งไม่ใช่การปกครองประชาธิปไตยกลับไปอ่านมาตรา 7 ของรัฐธรรมนูญเป็นการอ้างที่ผิด อ้างไม่ได้ มาตรา 7 มี 2 บรรทัดว่า อะไรที่ไม่มีในรัฐธรรมนูญ ก็ให้ปฏิบัติตามประเพณีตามที่เคยทำมา ไม่มี เขาอยากจะได้นายกพระราชทานเป็นต้น จะขอนายกพระราชทานไม่ใช่เรื่องการปกครองแบบประชาธิปไตย เป็นการปกครองแบบ ขอโทษ แบบมั่ว แบบไม่มีเหตุมีผล

I am hesistant to translate this, but the King in very strong language rejects the option of a royally-appointed PM and describes such an option in very colloquial language – the King even apologies for using such a word.
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/>The Nation translates this part as:
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“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. “
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Not quite the way I would translate it as the King chooses much stronger words.
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/>More from the same article:
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“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.”

/>Reuters and AP have reports. The AP piece says:
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“We have to find a way to solve the problem,” King Bhumibol Adulyadej said. “Having an election with only one candidate running is impossible. This is not a democracy.” Speaking to the country’s senior judges on nationwide television, King Bhumibol Adulyadej asked the Supreme Court, Administrative Court and others to intervene.
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