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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs           11   July  2011

Senior politico visits Thaksin

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Chartthaipattana Party chief adviser Banharn Silpa-archa admitted on Monday he went to Brunei to see former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra over the weekend. Mr. Banharn said it was a personal visit and denied a report that he went to bargain for five or six cabinet seats for his party.

The number reported was too high, considering that Chartthaipattana has only 19 MPs, Mr Banharn said, adding that three cabinet portfolios would be enough.

During his visit, Thaksin asked him to help look after his youngest sister, prime minister-in-waiting Yingluck Shinawatra, Mr. Banharn said.

The Chartthaipattana chief adviser believed the Election Commission would endorse enough MPs in time to fullfil the legal requirement for the House of Representatives to convene within 30 days of the July 3 general election - 475 of the 500 seats.

Mr. Banharn, who is a banned politician and former prime minister, said he personally disagreed with the Democrat Party's move to seek the dissolution of the Pheu Thai Party.

Mr. Natthawut said he was surprised by the Democrat Party. Instead of having its key members, such as chief adviser Chuan Leekpai or former leader Banyat Banthadthan, come out to help solve the various problems in the country, the party sent its MP-elect Boonyod Sooktinthai to file complaints with the EC on a daily basis.

"The action taken by the Democrats makes people wonder how they will push forward Thai politics constructively," he said.

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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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