The Pheu Thai Party has lambasted the government for going overboard in its efforts to tackle the perceived threats of crowd trouble on Friday, judgement day for former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra for her role in the loss-ridden rice-pledging scheme.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hand down its verdict that day, when supporters of the former prime minister are expected to throng the court premises.
Anusorn Iamsa-ard, acting deputy spokesman of Pheu Thai, said Sunday the administration appeared to be over-excited about what would happen when the ruling is announced.
The government should abstain from thinking too much about the political implications and spend time trying to solve the country’s economic problems, he said, adding the administration should leave the ruling to follow its course in line with court procedures.
If Ms Yingluck’s supporters are willing to come to the court, no attempts should be made to block them, Mr Anusorn said.
“No one had a hand in mobilising people [to come to the court] at all,” Mr Anusorn said. “Villagers who want to show up know what they are doing.”
About 1,000 supporters turned up outside the court on Aug 1, when Ms Yingluck delivered her closing statement in the trial.
Authorities expect around the same number on Friday, but the government has insisted it will deploy 2,500 police that day.
Gen Prawit emphasised police would be deployed to ensure order at the court, but armed forces would be on hand in the event they were needed, the spokesman said.
Defence Ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantravanich said Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon insisted Ms Yingluck’s supporters would not be hindered.
Auditor-General Pisit Leelavachiropas earlier said some local administrative organisations (LAOs) had organised activities for other purposes, but had also garnered moral support for Ms Yingluck at the court, citing relatives of those who attended past hearings of Ms Yingluck’s case.
Also Sunday, Yuthapong Jarassathien, a former deputy agriculture and cooperatives minister who also once served as the Pheu Thai MP for Maha Sarakham, urged the Office of Auditor-General (OAG) to take legal action against the LAOs against whom it claims to have the incriminating evidence.
Also on Friday, her then cabinet ministers — former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and his then deputy Poom Sarapol — are scheduled to hear a ruling in another case which involves the pair and 26 others in bogus government-to-government rice sales to China.