Thai poll victory for Thaksin allies will not spark coup: PM

November 2, 2007

BANGKOK (AFP) – Thailand will not descend into chaos or suffer another coup, even if deposed premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s allies win a general election in December, the Thai prime minister said Thursday.

Thaksin was ousted in a putsch last year and his Thai Rak Thai party has been dismantled, but many ex-members have reformed under the banner of the People Power Party (PPP), which will contest polls.

“There would be no problem if People Power Party won the election and became the government, because the Thai people would have made the decision, so it’s unlikely there would be chaos,” Surayud Chulanont told reporters.

“And if there is no chaos, then there will be no coup,” he added.

PPP leader Samak Sundaravej last week said he had unearthed classified army documents detailing the junta’s plans to use a media smear campaign to discredit the PPP and sabotage their chances in the December 23 elections.

Surayud, who was installed by the army, said the government was planning to deploy military personnel to areas under martial law for the elections, but he insisted they would help voters, not hinder the PPP.

“Their main functions are to maintain peace and assist the Election Commission,” he said.

Nearly half of Thailand’s 76 provinces remain under partial or total martial law, which was imposed after the September 2006 coup.

Political analysts say the generals who overthrew twice-elected Thaksin are determined to wipe all trace of him from the political landscape and would not welcome a PPP victory in December.



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