You couldn't make this stuff up. When people (especially people back home) ask me why I am interested in Thai politics, I frequently point out that it has more twists and turns than an epic movie. This week is just one example.
My friend Sittichai Pookai-yaudom and two other ministers in PM Surayud's cabinet have been found to have violated a graft law. They have all exceed permitted limits in public share holdings. Sittichai is head of MICT, the office that awards itself the status of thought police and moral guardian for the entire nation. Sadly, it seems Sittichai fails to follow his own superior ethics that he imposes upon Thailand.
In fairness to Sittichai, he has already resigned his post to "show transparency". Surely real transparency would be taking him to court and asking him why he only "showed transparency" after he was caught? The other two ministers are delivering the usual squabbling, pathetic and remorseless arguments and obfuscation that we have come to expect from greedy politicians.
The complication is that although the three have clearly committed an offence (and credit to the NCCC for actually pointing it out) they are protected from a clause in the new constitution that exempts them from complying!!!!
So there appears to be no punishment. Surayud has given them 'a week to consider their actions' and it appears the worst any of them will face is resignation. Somehow, that seems unlikely to bother them given their amassed wealth.
I wonder, if Thaksin was found to have committed the same offence,would he be protected by this clause? Would he simply be given "a week to consider" ?
Welcome to the world of Thai politics.