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Dems to stick with Abhisit, Yingluck ready

Posted by arnon_k On May - 27 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

The Democrat Party will only back its leader Abhisit Vejjajiva as prime minister, Democrat secretary-general and caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said on Friday.

Mr Suthep said it would not be possible for the Democrat Party to support Chartthaipattana Party chief adviser and reconciliation campaigner Sanan Kachornprasart for the position of prime minister, as the Democrats will stick to caretaker Prime Minister Abhisit.

“It is even more impossible that the the Democrats will join forces with Pheu Thai to form a government since both parties have different ideologies,” he said.

On Pheu Thai key member Chalerm Yubamrung’s announcement to quit politics permanently if Pheu Thai loses the July 3 election, Mr Suthep said not many people would miss him if he quits.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai’s prime ministerial candidate Yingluck Shinawatra said she is ready to be the next prime minister if she has support from the people.

“If Pheu Thai wins the election, then the prime minister must be from Pheu Thai in principle,” said Ms Yingluck, who is former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s youngest sister.

As for Mr Suthep’s claim that the red-shirt protesters were involved in burning the city in April last year, Ms Yingluck said the public knew the truth.

“I want the election atmosphere to be constructive, not just quarrels,” she added.

Yingluck: No plans to debate PM

Posted by arnon_k On May - 18 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Yingluck Shinwatra, No.1 party list candidate of the Pheu Thai Party, said she has no plan to take up the Democrat Party challenge for an election debate with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva at this time.

“I have just entered politics and I need time for meeting people and launching a nationwide election campaign. I will accept the challenge when the time is right,” said Ms Yingluck, youngest sister of ousted former prime minister Thaksin.

The Pheu Thai’s nominee for the post of prime minister said she will visit people in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai on Saturday, May 21. She will promote the party’s election policy to counter criticism of her personal affairs made by the Democrats.

Ms Yingluck said the selection of Pheu Thai’s party list candidates will first focus on people who have been working with the party. After that, the competence of each individual will be taken into consideration.

She would attend the selection meeting to finalise the party list today, and the list would then be sent to the party’s executive for further consideration.

“It is not necessary to send the list of candidates to Thaksin for approval as he will be involved only in mapping out the party’s policy,” she said.

Ms Yingluck will later today chair a meeting of the opposition camp’s economic team.

Key figures to attend the meeting include former transport minister Santi Prompat and former governor of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand Prapas Jongsanguan.

PM to visit China and Japan Nov 12-14

Posted by arnon_k On November - 11 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

BANGKOK, Nov 11 — Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is scheduled to attend the opening ceremony of the 16th Asian Games at Guangzhou, China and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Yokohama, Japan during Nov 12-14.

The opening ceremony of the Asian Games on Friday will be staged in the middle of the Pearl River on Haixinsha Square, with residential buildings and the 610-metre high Guangzhou Tower as a backdrop. The 18th APEC Economic Leaders’ meeting will be held at Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture during Nov 13-14.

Mr Abhisit said that apart from attending the Asian Games opening ceremony, his China’s visit will be the follow up trip after he visited Beijing in June last year.

The Thai prime minister will discuss with Chinese leaders to foster cooperation particularly with Guangzhou and Guangdong.

The fruit market in Guangzhou is an important national distribution centre for imported Thai bananas, durians, and lychees.

The Thai premier said he would like to focus on promoting Thai fruit in the Chinese market. Ten good quality Thai fruits were selected as gifts for very important persons who are invited to the Asian Games and Thai fruits will be on the table during the banquet for athletes.

Mr Abhisit said he was scheduled to meet his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao who will attend the opening ceremony to follow up the wide range of bilateral cooperation including trade and investment, tourism, and railway development in Thailand.

The cooperation to promote Thai TV soap opera series in China will also be discussed, he said.

Mr Abhisit earlier told Chinese Xinhua news agency that he will witness the signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) for promoting and distributing Thai TV series in China.

“There has been much talk about airing Thai series on Chinese television,” Mr Abhisit said. “There is so much of affinity in terms of what Thai and Chinese people like and culturally we are quite close.”

“It will be a good opportunity for us to showcase some of our entertainment,” he said.

As for the APEC Summit, Mr Abhist said the members would discuss balanced, sustainable, and fair economic growth and the future of cooperation in the region, the possibility to forge ahead with a free trade area.

Currency exchange rates will also be on the table for discussion, he said.

The meeting was expected to touch on the disasters that had impacted many countries, he said, adding that many countries worried about climate change which causes volatile weather conditions.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Wednesday flew to Thailand’s southern province of Pattani to inspect Dato village in Yaring district, hardest hit by a storm that caused devastating floods, carrying moral support to the flood victims in the village and other areas in the province.

Upon arrival, Pattani Governor, Nipon Narapitakkul briefed the premier about the damages and initial aid offered by the authorities.
The governor said the people of Dato village were hit by a storm for three hours which caused the floods in the area.

The local disaster prevention centre warned the residents and recommended them to shelter at a mosque and the villagers have given good cooperation, said the governor.

Mr Nipon said that 43 homes were damaged from the storm and each would get compensation of Bt80,000.

He added that provincial authorities are seeking low cost plots of land for the residents to build new home.

Mr Abhisit then presented compensation of Bt50,000 each to the families of five local residents who died from the flood and storm.

He has also given prepared bags of relief supplies to flood victims in Laem Pho sub-district.

The premier told the residents that the government would urgently help them to build or repair their homes and equipments using for their living, mostly fishing equipments, that were swept away by the flood.

The majority of the residents in the village are fishermen.

He said the Interior Ministry would step in to help the villagers and affirmed that the government would do its utmost to help the victims.
Mr Abhisit returned to Bangkok about 4.30pm.

Meanwhile, Meteorological Department has warned of strong winds, and waves at sea and heavy rain in the south.

The department said that on today and tomorrow a high pressure ridge is covering upper Thailand, and an active northeast monsoon prevails over the south and the Gulf of Thailand.

Waves 2-3 metres high are likely in the Gulf. All ships should proceed with caution, and small boats keep ashore.

Torrential rainfall is possible over much of the south from Chumphon southward, to encompass Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Krabi, Songkhla and Trang. People living near waterways and in the lowlands should beware of flash floods for several days.

The number of flood-related deaths rose to 185 across the country from Oct 10 until the present.

According to the authorities, the death toll from flooding in the upper part of the country was recorded at 127 with 18 provinces remaining under water, while flooding in the South triggered by heavy rain has left 58 persons dead since October 30 and 12 provinces remain flooded.