January 5, 2008
Pro-Thaksin party leader vows to form coalition govt
People Power Party leader Samak Sundaravej insisted that his party, which had secured a large plurality of parliamentary seats in Thailand's December 23 general election, would certainly proceed in its sustained bid to set up a coalition government despite antagonisms apparently intended to scuttle such efforts.
Mr. Samak reported to parliament alongside his colleagues who had been certified by the Election Commission as members of parliament. So did Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, who declined to comment on the latest developments involving the setting up of a post-election administration.
The fiery ex-Bangkok governor said that an unidentified party which remained outside of the parliamentary circle had acted desperately by intending to keep the Thaksin-oriented PPP stuck in its bid to form a coalition with smaller parties.
Others had even speculated that as many as 50 or 60 yellow or red cards might be handed out by the poll agency to winning PPP candidates to deny them a success in setting up a PPP-led coalition government, Mr. Samak said.
Three winning PPP candidates in Nakhon Ratchasima province were already issued yellow cards forcing them to recontest their election in a January 13 by-election while three others contesting in Buri Ram province had been given a red card which automatically disqualified their bid to rerun.
Eighty-three winning candidates, including 65 from the Thaksin-aligned PPP, are yet to be certified by the Election Commission.
The PPP leader said without elaborating that a senior police officer had been transferred from duty involving the Election Commission's probe into alleged electoral rigging and vote-buying charges while an estimated 700 police officers were assigned to bring witnesses to those unproven allegations from the provinces to the capital only to help with such conspiracy to scuttle the PPP coalition bid.
Mr. Samak said his colleagues would remain undaunted by such antagonistic ploys which included a fresh lawsuit lodged by an unsuccessful Democrat candidate seeking to have the Supreme Court rule the PPP victories null and void.
PPP secretary-general Suraphong Suebwonglee assured the public that the PPP-led coalition government comprising several smaller parties so far would certainly be established later this month. He apparently referred to the Ruam Jai Thai Chart Pattana Party, the Matchima Thipataya Party and the Pracharaj Party.
Whether or not another two parties, Chart Thai and Puea Pandin, would join the PPP-led coalition remains to be seen, the PPP secretary-general said.
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