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Chuan wants Abhisit as party leader

Posted by arnon_k On July - 5 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Although there are many people suitable to lead the Democrat Party, Abhisit Vejjajiva is still the best of all, party chief adviser Chuan Leekpai said on Tuesday.

Mr Chuan said he agreed with Mr Abhisit’s decision to resign as party leader, saying that a career politician should be true to his word.

The former Democrat pime minister said Mr Abhisit led the party while the country was in chaos and plagued with problems. He had weathered a most difficult situation.

Mr Chuan believed these problems would gradually be resolved because people who caused them would soon be in the government.

They were unlikely to cause more problems that would be destructive to themselves. The burning and destruction of property was unlikely to recur, he said.

Mr Chuan said he would not accept the party leadership if nominated for the post.

Asked about the possibility of the Democrat-led government, particularly Mr Abhisit and Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, being investigated for allegedly ordering the killing of red-shirt protesters, Mr Chuan said the new government has the chance to establish the truth and take legal action against those found to have really committed crimes related to the violence.

“The principle is that those who violate the law must take the responsibility,” he said.

On a comment by Weng Tojirakarn, a red-shirt leader elected on the Pheu Thai party list, that he would push for the release of all red-shirts still in detention, Mr Chuan said this was a matter for the courts to decide, not the government or parliament.

Abhisit resigns Democrat leadership

Posted by arnon_k On July - 4 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva announced his resignation as leader of the Democrat Party on Monday morning.

The outgoing prime minister’s announcement follows the crushing defeat inflicted by the rival Pheu Thai Party in the 2011 general election on Sunday.

“I’ve decided to resign because I could not lead my party to victory in the election,” Mr Abhisit said.
Democrat executive members will meet to select a new party leader within 90 days, as the law requires, he said.

Before the election, Mr Abhisit said he would step down as Democrat leader if his party won fewer seats than in the previous general election.

The unofficial election result shows that the Democrats won 159 seats yesterday. In 2007, the party won 164 seats.

Democrat spokesman Buranat Samutarak said the Democrats still have strong confidence in Mr Abhisit but it is not known if he will return as party leader.

Mr Buranat said despite the election upset the Democrat Party will continue to perform its duties with full responsibility to the people.

Under the party’s regulations, since Mr Abhisit has resigned as party leader all 18 members of the executive committee have also lost their party posts.

Mr Abhisit will hold the post of caretaker party leader until the party holds a general assembly to elect a new leader and executive committee within 90 days. No date has been fixed, the spokesman said.

Mr Buranat said the party still had strong confidence in Mr Abhisit’s leadership. Whether Mr Abhisit would return as party leader after the assembly had not been discussed.

He said party members in the provinces were shocked by the news of Mr Abhisit’s resignation. Although they knew he would show responsibility, they did not expect he would do this so abruptly.

Former Bangkok governor Apirak Kosayodhin, who had been tipped as a possible successor to Mr Abhisit, declined to comment when asked whether he would accept nomination for the job.

Mr Apirak said he would rather leave it to the party to decide.

Mr Abhisit also received praise from the Pheu Thai Party.

Pheu Thai core member Wattana Muangsuk praised him for his work and fighitng spirit during the election campaign.

Mr Wattana said Mr Abhisit helped make the competition fair and transparent throughout the campaign period.

Abhisit: Yingluck should clarify support for UDD

Posted by arnon_k On June - 21 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Prime Minister and Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has called on Pheu Thai’s top party list candidate Yingluck Shinawatra to make it clear whether or not she supports the actions of red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).

Mr Abhisit commented after Ms Yingluck on Monday brushed aside his call for her to put an end to the heckling by the UDD supporters during his party’s campaigning.

“Ms Yingluck should make it clear to the public whether she supports such actions by the red-shirt group,” he said while campaigning in the deep South on Tuesday.

The Democrat leader insisted that he is ready to talk to relatives of the six people who were found shot dead in the ground of Wat Pathumwanaram at the end of the violent anti-government rally in May last year.

The relatives have said they would attend the Democrat’s major campaign rally at Ratchaprasong intersection this Thursday.

Three companies of police to ensure law and order during the Democrat’s Ratchaprasong rally and stringent security will be enforced Pol Gen Pongsapat, senior police adviser in charge of security for the election, said.

The metropolitan police commander had been instructed to apply stringent security measures on that day because it was a major political rally in the very centre of Bangkok.

The campaign stage will be set up in front of CentralWorld Plaza and the Democrats had assured police they will try their best not to cause any problems for traffic around the intersection and nearby areas, Pol Gen Pongsapat said.

Metropolitan police had already told the red-shirt supporters and members other groups who want to attend the rally that they would be allowed to participate if they came with pure hearts.

“But if police find that their plans for attending are likely to incite violence, police have the right not to allow them to attend,” said Pol Gen Pongsapat.

Ms Yingluck this morning made merit to mark her 44th birthday at her Bangkok residence in Soi Yothinpattna.

Many MP candidates of the opposition camp, led by Bangkok MP chairman Wichan Minchainant, attended.

The youngest sister of fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra said that for her birthday she wished for unity and reconciliation in the country.

She said although she is a woman, she would put the utmost effort into working for the Thai people and use her femininity as a symbol to help put an end to the problems of social division and violence.

“I would like to see a constructive election campaign during the remaining two weeks until the July 3 election. I also want all political parties to accept the election results,” Ms Yingluck said.

Yingluck ‘not sure’ about debates

Posted by arnon_k On June - 15 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Yingluck Shinawatra, the No 1 Pheu Thai party list candidate, is not sure if she will be available to take part in debates organised by the People’s Network for Election in Thailand (Pnet).

Ms Yingluck said on Wednesday her schedule was tight and she had to campaign throughout the country until just before election day, July 3, so she was still undecided whether she would be ready to take part in the debates.

Pnet has scheduled a forum for the leaders of six political parties to debate their policies on June 23 and for Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjjajiva and Ms Yingluck, as Pheu Thai’s prime ministerial candidate, to debate on June 24. The venue for the debates had not been disclosed.

Mr Abhisit has agreed to both debates.

Even if Pheu Thai tadid not take part in the debates, its absence was unlikely to make any difference to its popularity since, according to a party survey, the people wanted to hear Pheu Thai candidates speak in their constituencies, Ms Yingluck said.

On Mr Abhisit’s question whether she can make her own decisions, or seek approval first, Ms Yingluck said the people would make their own judgement on this matter.

Ms Yingluck said although she may be inexperienced in politics, she has much experience in business and leadership.