Yingluck urged to defy courts, independent agencies

Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (C) leaves the Royal Thai Air Force headquarters after a cabinet meeting in Bangkok February 25, 2014.

With several corruption cases and petitions involving claims that Premier Yingluck Shinawatra violated the constitution, it is perhaps not surprising that the red shirts have suggested she should exercise civil disobedience against court rulings or decisions by independent agencies that go against the caretaker government.

Yingluck's back is against the wall after many weeks of anti-government protests led by the People's Democratic Reform Committee, which is pressuring her to stand down to make way for reforms.

Not only does she have to brave her biggest ever political storm, she will also have to fight court cases to remain as PM.

The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) believes that Yingluck has only a slim chance of surviving the court cases.

The UDD has accused the judiciary of political favouritism and included them among four targets it is battling.

To keep her seat, the UDD said Yingluck had to be defiant.

The case that has rocked her administration to the core is the rice-pledging scheme.

Dereliction of duty

The National Anti-Corruption Commission has summoned Yingluck to hear charges of dereliction of duty tomorrow for her alleged failure to stop the graft-plagued scheme.

But the PM accused the NACC of discrimination, saying that the agency had not made any progress with a corruption case against the Abhisit government, whereas it took only 21 days to investigate and press charges against her.

If the NCCC rules that she is guilty as charged, Yingluck will be suspended from duty unless the Senate or the Supreme Court's Division for Political Office Holders rules otherwise.

Other cases that could cost Yingluck her job are alleged corruption in the Bt350-billion water management scheme and constitutional cases involving the Bt2-trillion-loan (S$78 billion) project. Judges in the Constitutional Court have completed witness examination in the latter case and may issue a verdict on it shortly.

Former National Security Council chief Thawil Pliansri, who accused Yingluck of unfairly transferring him, has also brought another significant case against the PM in the Administrative Court. Thawil is awaiting a ruling by the Supreme Administrative Court. The latter is expected to uphold a lower court ruling that the transfer was illegal.