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ALMOST HALF the local leaders from 600 communities surveyed by Master Poll wanted the government to cancel a plan to buy 89 high-tech microphones for the Cabinet room that cost about Bt100,000 each.

The poll conducted from September 11-13 released the results yesterday. It showed that 47.2 per cent wanted the project scrapped and 50.8 of respondents felt there was something fishy about the planned procurement of microphones costing Bt100,000.

However, 49.3 per cent of the public said they felt nothing was wrong with the purchase deal, 35.2 per cent supported it, 17.6 per cent said the plan should be cancelled and the official in charge of the project step down to take responsibility.

PM’s Office Minister ML Panadda Diskul said he did not want to see conflict among state agencies over the plan to buy the high-cost microphones, saying the deal was being checked by the committee to monitor state spending.

“I do not want to see state agencies passing the blame to one another. I have been trying to iron out their differences to bring about peace and unity to the Government House,” he said.

He said that the government’s honeymoon period was over and it now had to rush to work.

Poll: public likes NCPO’s style

The PM’s Office has been assigned to arrange a meeting between the Cabinet and permanent secretaries from all ministries and provincial governors on Wednesday when the prime |minister would inform them of the government’s policies.

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva urged the government to ensure transparency in spending state funds for all projects. He said the public wanted transparency most in the use of “central funds” which the PM and the Cabinet had the power to approve.

He warned Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha that controversies like that of the pricey microphone could create repercussions for his administration. The PM had better ensure the committee he appointed to check the planned procurement of the microphones made the truth prevail. He said the PM must ensure that no more such controversies are repeated.

Master Poll also revealed that people wanted the government not to fall into bureaucratic traps with 27 per cent voicing such concern, 20 per cent warned the government against becoming intoxicated with power, money or women – together with flattering civil servants, capitalists and close aides.

About 17 per cent suggested the government start work immediately to tackle pressing issues – while 34 per cent said the government needed no suggestions as it had performed well.

Asked why the public had accepted the junta seizing power, 57 per cent said people wanted the junta to heal national division, 32 per cent said it was needed to fight corruption, 7.4 per cent said to help solve economic problems.

About 84 per cent preferred the working style of the NCPO because the junta seemed to be seriously address issues the country faces. The rest said they preferred the government’s working style because its image was better than the junta’s among the foreign community, 78 per cent said they were most satisfied with the junta’s crackdown on hawkers on the beach.

Rally leader Suthep Thaugsuban on Monday was released on bail after appearing in court for his involvement in the political violence in 2010, in which several people died and many more were injured.

Suthep, who had been kept in military detention after reporting to the National Council for Peace and Order, was freed on Monday and taken to Court to face the charges. His lawyer asked for the bail, using a bank account of Bt600,000 as the guarantee. The court prohibits him from travelling abroad and if he wishes to travel, he has to get permission from the Court.

Suthep missed an earlier court appearance on the same charges as he was busy leading the anti-government campaign. Former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva is also facing the same charge.

He is also facing summons on an insurrection charge for leading the anti-government protests against then prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Pheu Thai lambasts Abhisit proposal

Posted by pakin On May - 7 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Pheu Thai lambasts Abhisit proposal.

The Pheu Thai Party yesterday rejected Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva’s plan for reform, coming up with its own plan, and promising a July 20 election.

In its statement, read by Pheu Thai strategist Bhokin Bhalakula, the party said only an election and justice would provide a solution to the country’s political crisis.

Mr Bhokin said the July 20 poll should go ahead, with parties proposing reform agendas in their campaigns leading up to the election.

After the election, all parties concerned would have to ensure the passage of a law to establish a body to work on reform plans. When ready, the plans would be put up for a referendum. Under the proposal, the new government would be in office for no more than 12 months after the July election.

The statement said the party was full of hope when Mr Abhisit first floated his plan embracing political reform as part of elections.

However, when the Democrat leader went into detail, Pheu Thai found his proposal “confusing, insincere, undemocratic and not compliant with the charter”.

Mr Abhisit’s plan calls for a delay in issuing a royal decree to set the date for the election, and the resignation of caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to pave the way for an interim neutral government chosen by the Senate speaker.

Mr Bhokin insisted the resignation of Ms Yingluck is out of question because she left office after the Housedissolution in December last year.

She remains in a caretaker role as required by the charter, until a new cabinet is in place.

Mr Bhokin said the appointment of an interim neutral government is not within the constitution, pointing out the charter makes it clear that only the House of Representatives is authorised to nominate and elect a prime minister.

Mr Abhisit’s plan for the Senate speaker to intervene in the House’s affairs constitutes an attempt to unconstitutionally seize power, he said.

The Pheu Thai strategist said the proposal was inappropriate and is similar to anti-government protesters’ call for an interim prime minister during the political crisis prior to the Sept 19, 2006 coup.

He also said Mr Abhisit’s remark that the future of the country lies in the hands of Ms Yingluck shows he favours the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), which has been calling for her to step aside for months.

He said the prime minister does not have exclusive power to issue a royal decree on the election. She needs to work with the cabinet ministers and the Election Commission.

Mr Bhokin said political developments over the past months suggest a conspiracy by the PDRC and some public independent organisations to undermine the democratic system.

A ruling by the Constitution Court in the Thawil Pliensri case, the reaction of the Election Commission towards Mr Abhisit’s proposed poll delay, and the military’s role should all be monitored, he said.

Democrat spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut yesterday expressed regret over Pheu Thai’s rejection of Mr Abhisit’s proposal.

He said the party was attempting to mislead the public about the political situation and that the claim Mr Abhisit’s plan is not in line with the charter is untrue.

“That the cabinet can’t resign [because it is already out of office] isn’t true. The cabinet ministers have the right to do so. What if the whole cabinet died in a plane crash?”

“The claim that the House Speaker must be consulted on a referendum is also untrue. Section 165 uses ‘may’, not ‘must’,” he said, referring to Pheu Thai’s argument that Mr Abhisit’s referendum can not be carried out since there is no House Speaker.

Decision day for PM edging closer

Posted by pakin On May - 6 - 2014 Comments Off on Decision day for PM edging closer

EC to draft election decree, as Abhisit presents report and court hearing begins

Many political players and stakeholders will make moves today in the rush to reach a solution to end the unrest that has loomed large over the country for months. The Election Commission will prepare the draft for a royal decree to call another election.

Opposition party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva will submit to the commission his plan to delay the poll and install a non-elected interim government.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the protesters and all other political parties will also receive the plan in detail and have been asked to act on their parts in the plan.

EC secretary-general Puchong Nutrawong said that if the five-member commission agreed on the election decree, it would be submitted to the Cabinet without delay. The EC and the government last week agreed to schedule July 20 as the election date.

The EC members would also consider Abhisit’s idea to break the political impasse, he said.

Abhisit asked the EC to change some laws and regulations to have harsher penalties for electoral fraud and prohibi