Thailand’s Constitutional Court has found caretaker prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra guilty in the illegal transfer of National Security Council secretary Thawil Pliensri and has ordered her to step down.
The judges ruled that the transfer is considered “interference” and a “conflict of interest” that is “lacking in ethics and morals”.
Thawil Pliensri was transferred from his post of National Security Council secretary in 2011, shortly after the newly-elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra took office (we reported).
+++More updates and reactions to follow+++
5.30pm: That concludes our LIVE-blog of today’s events. Thank you very much for reading and follow @Saksith and @ASCorrespondent for further updates to the political situation in Thailand in the coming days.
5.00pm: Video of Yingluck Shinawatra’s statement:
4.11pm: Yingluck Shinawatra has just finished a live address on Thai television. She said she did not violate any law and that she will always stand by the Thai people. “I thank all Thai people for trusting me and my administration, and appreciate your support in difficult times.”
16:07 ยิ่งลักษณ์แถลงยอมรับ ขอบคุณประชาชนเชื่อใจ ภูมิใจเป็นนายกฯมาจากเลือกตั้ง ขอยึดมั่น ปชต.และความเสมอภาคต่อไป pic.twitter.com/ry5gkDvUw4
— Arm MatichonTV (@ArmMatichon) May 7, 2014
3.33pm: It’s official. Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan has been appointed by Cabinet as Acting Prime Minister.
3.36pm: It has now emerged that the next interim prime minister will be commerce minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan. He was active in the past in Shinawatra-owned companies, so a close link to Thaksin is evident.
— BBC News Asia (@BBCNewsAsia) May 7, 2014
3.25pm: Meanwhile, we’re getting disturbing news over an attack by anti-government protesters against German photojournalist Nick Nostitz. He was already attacked by an anti-government mob back in November at the beginning of the protests.
Nick Nostitz was attacked by PDRC thugs at Const. Court. Police and soldiers right next to him but scared to intervene.
— Jonathan Head (@pakhead) May 7, 2014
Nick is OK. He got out. But PDRC heavies were trying find him and detain him. And we all know what happens to people they detain.
— Jonathan Head (@pakhead) May 7, 2014
3.21pm: There’s no agreeing on who will be the next caretaker PM just yet…
Pongthep is top favourite to be next caretaker PM: Nation Channel, quoting PT senior sources.
— tulsathit (@tulsathit) May 7, 2014
— James Oaten (@james_oaten) May 7, 2014
3.05pm: The ruling Pheu Thai Party just held a press conference to state their disapproval of the Constitutional Court verdict, saying that the case has been “unusually rushed”. It has called for the Election Commission to go ahead with the planned elections on July 20. Meanwhile, Yingluck Shinawatra herself is still keeping a low profile and there has been no official statement by the caretaker government as of now.
2.50pm: The scene at the headquarters of the pro-government red shirt umbrella organization UDD. Clearly no one is happy there, tweet describes “decrying the verdict” and “dictatorship by the courts”. The red shirts have planned a mass rally for May 10 and will most likely stick to it.
ไม่ทนแล้ว! มวลชนกลุ่มคนเสื้อแดงที่ศูนย์ประสานงาน นปช.พร้อมใจโวยผลวินิจฉัย ตลก.รธน.-ยัน 10 พ.ค.เจอกันแน่ที่อักษะ! pic.twitter.com/pStFjhhfjq
— Anuthee (@anuthee) May 7, 2014
2.30pm: The complete list of ousted ministers in addition to the names mentioned below also includes the notorious blowhard labor minister Chalerm Yubamrung.
รายชื่อคณะรัฐมนตรีที่ต้องพ้นตำแหน่ง (มีส่วนร่วมในการพิจารณาโยกย้าย ‘ถวิล’ ในรัฐบาลยิ่งลักษณ์) pic.twitter.com/rC5IlpJJYO
— supatsorn (@numaoinaka) May 7, 2014
2.16pm: The cabinet has about 27 members left, so still a deep bench to form a caretaker cabinet. Deputy PM Phongthep Thepkanjana is tipped to become the next interim prime minister.
2.11pm: By the way, the decision to force PM Yingluck out of office was unanimous by all nine judges.
— Juarawee K. (Lina) (@Juarawee) May 7, 2014
10 Cabinet Ministers who are gone. YL, Surapong, Kittirat, Pracha, Yuttasak, Santi, Anudit, Siriwat, Plodprasob h/t @Chanikarn_nna:
— bangkokpundit (@bangkokpundit) May 7, 2014
1.50pm: All cabinet members involved in the NSC chief removal are also forced to resign.
1.45pm: This is the 3rd time in Thai history that a prime minister has been forced out by a judicial ruling after Samak Sundaravej and Somchai Wongsawat, both PMs of a pro-Thaksin administration and both in 2008.
1.43pm: +++BREAKING+++ Thai cabinet to stay on until “a new one is in place”.
1.40pm: While the fate of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra is sealed, the judges are still reading the verdict concerning the rest of the cabinet.