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December 24, 2007

THAILAND/POLITICS
Thaksin proxy: People Power Party ready to form coalition government

Thailand’s People Power Party (PPP) is open to a discussion with any political party with regards to forming a coalition government, said the leader Samak Sundaravej.

“I invite every political party to discuss possibility to form a (coalition) government,” Samak said in a press conference on Sunday evening at the party headquarters.

Mr. Samak claimed the victory as an unofficial poll result showed his party had won around 228 seats out of 480 seats in the lower house, assuring his readiness to assume the premiership.

“I will be the next prime minister for sure, because I am the leader of the party with almost half of the seats in the House,” he said.

The 72-year-old politician and former Bangkok governor emphasised his victory reflected the strong will of the Thai people nationwide.

“Marking an end to the military-appointed government period, the PPP’s victory is the victory of Thai people who were patient for 15 months,” he said, referring to the Council for National Security (CNS) which staged a coup overthrowing then prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on September 19, 2006.

Mr. Samak admitted talking to Mr. Thaksin on the phone in which the former premier congratulated the PPP leader.

“He did not leave any special message, just saying congratulations,” said Samak.

The veteran politician affirmed his intention to push for amnesty for Thasin who was banned by from the politics a constitution tribunal.

Thaksin who was among 111 Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party executives banned from politics for five years by the Constitutional Tribunal, after the party was disbanded for election fraud.

Shortly afterward, the leader of the PPP’s top rival the Democrat Party Abhisit Vejjajiva rejected the PPP leader’s invitation for talks on forming a coalition government.

“The Democrat party has to reject this invitation because our ideologies are different. But we’ll see how other parties respond to Mr. Samak’s invitation. It’s really up to them,” Abhisit said in press conference at his party headquarters, satisfied with the unofficial poll result showing his party had won 166 seats.

The 43-year-old Oxford-graduated Abhisit quipped at Samak’s idea to push for granting amnesty for the 111 former Thai Rak Thai Party executives: “If the PPP could form the government, it should think of the people before 111 ex-TRT (executives).”


Courtesy TNA

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