Thai King Urges Army, Judges to Remain Impartial


Thai King Urges Army, Judges to Remain Impartial

´Performing duty with no prejudice is an important task for every commissioned soldier,´

the King told the heads of the army.


Thailand’s revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej reminded the army and civilian judges on Monday of their duty to remain impartial, less than a week before the first election since last year’s military coup.

“Performing duty with no prejudice is an important task for every commissioned soldier,” the King told the heads of the army, navy and air force at his Bangkok palace.

“The armed forces will be able to protect the country not with deadly weapons but with good deeds.”

At the same audience, he reminded Thailand’s judges their primary role was to “preserve justice”.

Supporters of ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a bloodless coup last year, have accused the military of a dirty tricks campaign to prevent their party from coming first in the Dec. 23 election.

However, most opinion polls suggest the People Power Party, the main vehicle for the Thaksin camp after their Thai Rak Thai party was disbanded for electoral fraud this year, will fall short of an absolute majority.

In his speech, the king told new civilian judges that Thailand must have justice.

“They (people) have to follow the rule of law, or the rules of goodness, which means doing things in a straightforward way, which will benefit everybody, every citizen,” he said.

Although only a constitutional monarch, Bhumibol’s remarks about politics carry enormous weight because of the high regard in which he is held by Thailand’s 65 million people.

Earlier this month, he called for unity in three speeches to mark his 80th birthday.

Even though People Power looks set to win the most seats at the election, many analysts believe the army will prevent it from forming a coalition government in case it embarks on a pro-Thaksin vengeance mission.

The interim military-appointed government has announced it is beefing up security in Bangkok and other tourist destinations ahead of the election in case political disputes escalate into violence.

Published: December 17, 2007



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