Thai Constitutional Court Offers 'Democracy Course'

A worker cleans the vacant tribunal of the Constitutional Court in May 2007.

BANGKOK — The Thai court known for ousting a string of democratically elected political parties is now offering a course titled "Good Governance For Democracy."

The program is open to members of the state and private sector who want to improve their "conscience and behaviour," said the chairman of the Constitutional Court, whose judges will be teaching the class. 

"We want them to use the knowledge from the course to apply to their organizations, the public, and national reform process," the chairman, Nurak Mapraneet, said during the opening class yesterday.

The Constitutional Court is known for its numerous rulings against political parties and governments allied to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the de facto leader of the Redshirt movement. 

The court dissolved two parties and deposed three Prime Ministers backed by Thaksin, including former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who led the government toppled in the 22 May 2014 coup. The Constitutional Court also annulled two national elections organized by pro-Thaksin governments. 

Officials say 52 people have signed up for the "democracy" course, including Pornchai Rujiprapa, Minister of Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT); Surachai Liangboonlertchai, deputy chairman of the junta-appointed National Legislative Assembly; Amara Pongsapich, chairwoman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC); and Vicha Mahakhun, a member of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC). 

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