Thai PM blames army-backed constitution for political woes
Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej yesterday blamed Thailand's military-backed constitution for his political woes and vowed to press ahead with amending it.
Thailand's ruling coalition has dealt with a barrage of challenges since taking office five months ago, losing two legal battles Tuesday which could pave the way for impeachment of his entire cabinet.
"It's clear that all of the problems are caused by the constitution," Samak told reporters, claiming he was not worried by the outcomes of the court cases.
"There are still many problematic articles and I want the people who drafted the constitution to reexamine it, article by article. I would like it to be amended," he said.
The current charter was drafted by a panel named by royalist generals who staged the 2006 coup against former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
In the first legal blow Tuesday, the Constitutional Court ruled that the government had violated the constitution by signing a joint communique to back neighbouring Cambodia in its bid to put the 11th century Preah Vihear temple on the World Heritage list.
The Hindu temple has been subject to a territorial dispute for decades as its entrance lies at the foot of a Thai mountain.
The opposition Democrat party said it would move to impeach Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama for signing the communique.
Later Tuesday, the Supreme Court found former speaker Yongyut Tiyapairat guilty of vote buying in elections last December.
The verdict opens up the possibility of criminal charges against Yongyut and the dissolution of the ruling People Power Party.
The legal blows came as anti-government protests by the royalist People's Alliance for Democracy have rumbled in the streets for nearly seven weeks.