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Suthep: PM demands same standards

Posted by arnon_k On November - 12 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Democrat secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban met the Chartthai Pattana leader late Friday morning and said later he had made it clear that the prime minister wants cabinet members to resign before they run for vacant seats in House by-elections.

“I resigned as deputy prime minister before running in the Surat Thani constituency 1 by-election and the prime minister wants my standard to be followed,” said Mr Suthep.

Chartthai Pattana leader Chumpol Silpa-archa, the tourism and sports minister, said he understood the objective of Mr Suthep’s visit.

“Chartthai Pattana will meet on Monday to decide on the matter. Before that day, anyone can express their point of view. but the party’s resolution will be final and party members must adhere to it,” Mr Chumpol said.

Mr Suthep was scheduled to meet Bhumjaithai leader and Interior Minister Chavarat Charnvirakul this afternoon to discuss the same issue.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva stressed that any ministers who want to contest a by-election should resign from the cabinet first.

He demanded Chartthai Pattana’s Deputy Transport Minister Kuerkul Chaivichit and Bhumjaithai’s Deputy Interior Minister Boonjong Wongtrairat step down before running in the by-election to fill their vacant former seats.

Mr Kuerkul and Mr Boonjong were disqualified by the court for having shareholdings barred to MPs by the constitution.

Suthep to return as Deputy PM

Posted by arnon_k On November - 12 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday said he would make a change to his Cabinet soon, reappointing Suthep Thaugsuban as deputy prime minister.

Suthep got the nod from the Election Commission last Tuesday to be an MP after winning a by-election in Surat Thani last month. Abhisit said induction of the deputy prime minister would be the only change. Other coalition parties had not proposed any changes, he said.

Abhisit asserted yesterday that ministers must resign before running in a by-election.

“To prevent criticism that they may benefit [from being ministers] in the election, they should resign, like Suthep did,” he said.

The premier was referring to Deputy Interior Minister Boonjong Wongtrairat and Deputy Transport Minister Kuakul Danchaiwijit, who were disqualified as MPs by the Constitution Court for holding shares in firms with state concessions. The two plan to run in by-elections without resigning from their ministerial posts.

Their parties will announce their opinion on the resignation issue next Monday.

Suthep, Worawut register for by-election

Posted by arnon_k On October - 8 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Candidates for the two major parties registered for the Surat Thani by-election on Friday, the last day for candidate registration.

Worawut Wichaidit of the opposition Puea Thai Party registered about 7.30am, followed by Suthep Thaugsuban of the Democrat Party. Mr Suthep resigned as deputy prime minister to run in the Oct 30 constituency 1 by-election.

Chairman of the Puea Thai Party Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh and Puea Thai Party leader Yongyuth Wichaidit accompanied Mr Worawut.

Mr Worawut said he does not expect to win the poll, but offers himself as an alternative for voters.

Mr Suthep said he would like the by-election to be fair and transparent.

In the draw for ballot paper positions, Mr Worawut got No.1 and Mr Suthep No.2.

Blast horror justifies decree, says Suthep

Posted by arnon_k On October - 8 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

The fatal bomb blast at an apartment in Nonthaburi justifies extension of emergency rule in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban says.

Militants are bent on committing acts of sabotage in the capital, Mr Suthep said yesterday in response to a question in parliament by Puea Thai Party MP Wicharn Meechainant.

The deputy prime minister said emergency rule allowed security authorities to work more efficiently when the capital was under threat.

Mr Wicharn demanded to know on what basis the government extended emergency rule. He also questioned the effectiveness of the law after a spate of recent bomb threats and attacks.

Mr Suthep said militants were attempting to cause unrest in the city and the apartment blast on Tuesday evening justified the government’s extended enforcement of emergency rule.

“We found unexploded bombs [at the apartment],” Mr Suthep told the House.

“It is a clear indication that people are attempting to cause trouble.

“The government needs to enforce the special law because ordinary laws aren’t enough to contain the situation.”

The Bang Bua Thong apartment blast killed four people including the suspected bomber, Chiang Mai resident Samai Wongsuwan, and left nine others injured.

Police last night found an assault rifle, four rocket-propelled grenades and a grenade launcher at a shophouse close to an old office of the Puea Thai Party in Bang Rak district.

Pol Lt Col Kamthon Ouicharoen, of the Patrol and Special Operation Division, said the shophouse owner found the weapons in a rented room at 8.45pm.

The owner stopped by last night to inspect the room, long ago abandoned by tenants, and alerted police when he found the weapons.

He said Bang Rak police were taking charge of the investigation.

Earlier in the day, a hand grenade had been found in a pile of garbage in Soi Prachachuen 31 in Bang Sue district.

A food shop worker spotted the device while taking the garbage out and alerted police.

Pol Col Natthawat Kandee, superintendent of Prachachuen police station, said the grenade contained no explosive charge.

He said the device was unlikely to be part of a bomb scare and was not intended to threaten Deputy Prime Minister Trairong Suwannakhiri whose house is about 400 metres from where the garbage was found.

Meanwhile, police spokesman Prawut Thawornsiri said yesterday fingerprints taken from the severed arm of the fourth body found in the Nonthaburi apartment bombing match those of key suspect Samai.

Police have fingerprints on record of Samai after the militant red shirt was arrested last year in Chiang Mai.

Pol Maj Gen Prawut said materials needed to make bombs were not restricted substances and are widely available.