At a press conference on Friday, Red Shirt leaders reacted to the Constitutional Court’s response to a letter submitted by the UDD which sought clarifications on the Court’s 2012 decision on amending the constitution. The UDD also reiterated its calls for the government to act on amnesty for political prisoners as well as for granting jurisdiction to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Earlier in January, the UDD had submitted a letter to the Constitutional Court seeking clarification on the appropriate procedure for a constitutional amendment. The Court had proposed a referendum should be held prior to the third reading of a bill which would open the door to comprehensive charter reform. In response to the UDD’s inquiry, the Court stated that
The ruling is clear. It is not necessary to explain further.
UDD leader Tida reacted,
The Court’s response reveals its negative attitude. The questions were posed in all sincerity as they are important for the country.
The leadership also urged the government to recognise the jurisdiction of the ICC in order to bring the perpetrators of the deaths of April-May 2010 to justice.
We have waited for justice for too long. Letting the ICC into Thailand will bring the truth to the surface. The government must accelerate this process.
Most of the press conference was spent discussing the proposed amnesty decree that the UDD has drafted. The decree, if signed by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, would grant amnesty to all political prisoners, regardless of political affiliation, and with the exception of leaders.
Dr Weng said
I don’t want to see our people in prison for one more day. This decree with calm the situation down.
The UDD leadership argues that amnesty for political prisoners is a matter of national emergency, and therefore does not violate Sections 184-185 of the Constitution.