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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs           18   July  2011

Poll: No Thaksin meddling in Cabinet selection

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Most Thais do not want fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to dominate or interfere in the formation of the new Cabinet, according to an ABAC poll released on Sunday.

The poll was conducted from July 12 to 16 on 2,114 respondents in 17 provinces across Thailand. A total of 65.3 percent of respondents wanted Thaksin to have no involvement in the Cabinet formation because his opponents could stage political turmoil or a coup; 34.7 per cent supported Thaksin's move, reasoning he had political clout that could help prevent internal wrangling over ministerial seats.

In response to the report that the Election Commission (EC) had yet to endorse former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva asDemocrat party-list number one and Puea Thai party-list number one Yingluck Shinawatra, pending investigations into electoral wrongdoings, 71.3 percent of respondents were upset, fearing if both were not certified, political turmoil and violence could result.

Another 13.8 percent of respondents agreed with the EC's move and 14.9 per cent said they remained neutral. But 54.8 percent warned it could stir the highest level of violence, 28.9 per cent medium-scale violence and 16.4 percent believed there would not be any problem. 80.4 per cent wanted to give Yingluck a chance to become the country's first female PM, while 55.3 per cent wanted to give red-shirt leaders the chance of ministerial seats; 76.4 percent believed the EC would finally certify Yingluck.

Responding to a poll result that showed some people supported the EC for not endorsing Abhisit and Yingluck, Election Commissioner Sodsri Satayatham dismissed the significance of the poll results, saying they did not necessarily reflect the opinion of the majority of the public. She said if the EC had not yet endorsed 95 percent of the total MPs within the 30 day deadline stipulated by law, the EC would continue with its electoral investigation and issue red cards or yellow cards later.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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