Chaturon vs CNS


Thai military to take action against former ruling party’s acting leader

Thailand‘s
military authority Council for National Security (CNS) decided on
Tuesday to take legal action against the acting leader of Thailand’s
former ruling Thai Rak Thai Party (TRT), Chaturon Chaisang for alleged
violation to the ban on political activities, CNS spokesman Sansern
Kaewkamnerd said.

According to a report on Bangkok Post website, Sansern said
Chaturon’s visit to voters in the northeastern provinces of Thailand
violates a ban on political activities, which was imposed by the CNS
after it launched the Sept. 19 coup last year to oust then premier
Thaksin Shinawatra.

Thaksin later resigned as leader of the ruling TRT party while
he remained out of Thailand since the coup, and Chaturon was appointed
as acting party leader.

Chaturon were reportedly touring the northeastern provinces,
considered stronghold of the TRT party, and talking to local people
about policies of the deposed administration.

“The CNS will report this to the premier to ask for his
permission to allow cooperation from related agencies including the
Interior Minister, the Royal Thai Police and the Election Commission,”
Sansern was quoted as saying.

Source: Xinhua


AP Photo by Apichart Weerawong

Chaturon Chaisaeng, Thai Rak Thai’s acting leader, front, smiles after a news conference denying his involvement in political activities at the party headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2007. The military group that staged a coup against elected Prime Minister
Thaksin Shinawatra announced Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007, that Chaturon would be prosecuted for violating a ban on political activity.


Chaturon says CNS complaints ‘unfair’

Cancels trip to North, denies stirring trouble


Acting Thai Rak Thai leader Chaturon Chaisaeng has cancelled his trip
to the North this weekend but complains the Council for National
Security (CNS) is discriminating against his party with complaints that
it is undermining stability. Mr Chaturon said at his party headquarters
yesterday that he had called off his trip to the North, after the CNS
said that on his most recent trip he had engaged in political activity.

Chaturon: CNS singling out his party

On Tuesday, the CNS threatened to prosecute him for meeting supporters in
the Northeast, and to have his party dissolved if he continued with
this weekend trip.

The CNS viewed the recent trip as harming its national reconciliation policy.

The acting Thai Rak Thai leader complained that the CNS was
applying a double standard.

He said he wanted to know why the CNS was discriminating
against his party, when politicians from other parties were engaging in
political activities.

Although the CNS has issued two announcements prohibiting
political party activity, Mr Chaturon said he did nothing wrong.

During his recent trips to the Northeast, he said, he had
been invited to visit a herbal plantation and speak on education reform
as he was a former education minister.

Local people had greeted him normally as they had known about
his trips in advance. The trips were apolitical, he said.

Mr Chaturon claimed he had even helped the CNS promote
reconciliation during his trip as he had told supporters to be patient
and refrain from any plan to clash with the CNS or topple the
government.

”We still adhere to reconciliation under the principles of
democracy. We insist on peaceful means, not violent ones that can cause
confrontation.

”We will adhere to this principle no matter what happens to
me, no matter whether I am charged and detained,” he said.

It was the CNS that failed to promote reconciliation and its
tough stance against his party proved it, he said.

CNS chairman Sonthi Boonyaratkalin maintained that the CNS was
treating all parties equally. However, the case of Mr Chaturon would
establish a baseline, he said.

The Election Commission (EC) is one agency which does plan to
take action against Thai Rak Thai.

EC chairman Apichart Sukhagganond said yesterday his
commission was waiting for a complaint from the CNS. He will examine
reports already filed with EC staff in Kalasin, Roi Et and Khon Kaen
provinces which Mr Chaturon visited over a week ago.

Mr Apichart said action against Thai Rak Thai could range
from a warning to dissolution.


March 01, 2007 13:29 PM

Coalition Government Likely After Thai Election


By D.Arul Rajoo

BANGKOK, March 1 (Bernama) — The new Thai election to be
organised by the military-installed government later this year is more
likely to produce a coalition government as no single party will get
absolute majority, the party leader of the ousted government said.

Thai Rak Thai (TRT)’s new chief Chaturon Chaisang said it was hard
to say which party would be the main party in the coalition, adding
that such government would be fragile.

The former student leader, who held the deputy prime minister and
education minister’s posts in former premier Thaksin Shinawatra‘s
government, said his party’s future also hangs in the balance due to
the ongoing court case that could led to its dissolution.

“But we are prepared to be in the opposition as TRT is facing many
problems and I don’t know what will happen next. There is lot of
disadvantage now as we are not allowed to meet the people and pressure
on the media not to give coverage to us,” he said at the Foreign
Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT) last night.

Despite the effort by the Council for National Security (CNS) to
send TRT into the opposition, Chaturon said he believed that an
unexpected phenomenon could happen that could bring the party back into
power, something that had never occurred after previous coups.

The future of TRT, the first party to win the elections in 2001
and 2005, as well as the opposition which boycotted the April 2006
poll, was raised after Thaksin was ousted by the Sept 19, 2006 military
coup.

The party with 14 million members is now facing a court battle
with allegation of financing small parties to take part in the April
election last year while at least 100 former members of parliament had
left, including Thaksin who resigned as party leader but kept his
membership.


Chaturon
was also not the first choice to replace Thaksin as he only stepped in after many others declined.

A former medical student at Chiang Mai University, he was a
1970s-era student activist who fled to the jungles in the wake of a
military crackdown.

After three years in the jungle, he dropped his medical studies
and went to the United States where he completed a Bachelor of Arts in
Economics at the State University of New York at Buffalo, New York, a
Masters in Economics at the American University in Washington and
returned to Thailand in 1986 at the age of 30.

Chaturon said although CNS was going all out to destroy the party
and its supporters, he was confident the masses would back the TRT as
its populist policies were well-received and benefitted a large number
of the 64 million people in the country.

The latest pressure on the party came this week when CNS wanted to
prosecute Chaturon for violating a junta ban on political activities by
visiting the TRT stronghold in the Northeast province last weekend, an
allegation denied by him.


“I don’t want to confront CNS, I want to work with them to restore democracy,”
he said.

On the new constitution being drafted by the junta, Chaturon said
the 1997 constitution that was abolished after the coup should be used
as the basis and improved further, adding that 64 per cent of the
population did not know what the constitution was about.

Asked if the party would work towards rejecting the constitution
during the proposed referendum that was first for the country, he said
he preferred for it to go through as any setback could prolong the
situation and keep the military in power.

“But if there are certain points that we cannot agree upon, for
example if there is a clause for an un-elected prime minister or some
system to allow those in power now to sustain their power, we will vote
against it,”
he added.

Furthermore, he said CNS should state now which constitution it
intended to use if the new one was rejected, adding that keeping
political parties out in drafting the constitution was wrong as they
had about 25 million members.

To a question whether Thaksin was still calling the shots from
exile, Chaturon said both of them only spoke twice after the coup,
adding that the former premier told him he would not give any
suggestion or order on how to run the party.


Chaturon
said any links to Thaksin would prolong the conflict. “There is no need to listen to him. Thailand went through alot of turmoil…if we want to solve this, we need to finish the previous battle and start a new game,” he said, adding that TRT still holds a lot of respect and credit should be given for its founder’s work.

Chaturin also criticised the CNS and the present government for spending too much time attacking Thaksin and his supporters instead of focusing on more important agenda for the country.

“They want to make sure the old power won’t come back. They are aiming the wrong target. Thaksin will not come back to become Prime Minister…even I am the only former minister in the core group of 12 running the party now,” he said.

Chaturon, who admitted he has no business interest compared to the billionaire Thaksin, said the government was sending the wrong signal to the international business community with its flawed capital control
and business act policies.

— BERNAMA


Thaksin party urges PM not to bow out

BANGKOK,
March 2 (TNA) – Acting Thai Rak Thai Party leader Chaturon Chaisaeng on
Friday advised Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont to remain undaunted by
criticisms and never call it quits, and that any cabinet reshuffle
should only be done on a small scale.

The acting TRT leader
said he feared democratic rule would not  return to the Thai people
soon enough, should the prime minister decide to resign.

 
Mr. Chaturon said the prime minister should stabilise his
government and publicise the government policy which is not seeking to
steer Thailand off the course of economic globalisation so that
investors’ confidence in this country would be restored.
 
The fact that the party of the deposed and discredited former
prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is functional in a public
manner–despite the ban of political activity on the part of
politicians and parties by the coup makers proclamations last
September–is in itself a commentary on the Thai political scene. The
advice is coming from a strange quarter.
 
Such economic policies as the government has should even be
declared (and clarified) to the world before a new finance minister is
named, Mr. Chaturon said, apparently seeking for the political
community a better idea of just what the current  government’s policy
actually might be.

Other than the post of finance minister
currently left vacant by the resignation of Pridiyathorn Devakula, the
acting TRT leader said, the prime minister need not reshuffle any other
members of his cabinet.

Inexperienced persons should not be
named ministers because they would need some months to learn their
jobs, and a general election is being patiently awaited in foreseeable
future, Mr. Chaturon
commented.

The naming of a new minister
by Gen. Surayud should not be made under pressure while the working
attitudes of current ministers, including those attached to the Prime
Minister’s Office, should be adjusted to the extent that they become
less hostile to politicians and more constructive to others, the acting
TRT leader said.

Mr. Chaturon added the Surayud government
should stop exaggerating its performances to the public, encourage the
people to participate in during the rewriting the Constitution and no
longer work under the influences of the military which staged the
September 19 coup.

 
He said the Surayud government had failed considerably in those areas so far. (TNA)-E008

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  1. Now Chaturon is the only politician that I lay my democracy hope of Thailand in his hand.

    His new book has lot of answer.

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