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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2733

Thai military interfering in political system and courts cannot function properly - lashes out former Thai premier Thaksin

Bangkok, 14 December, (Asiantribune.com): Ousted Thai Prime Minister flays the Army and the judicial system of interfering in politics and destroying democracy in Thailand in a pre-recorded speech delivered to his supporters who rallied at Bangkok's National Stadium Saturday night.

On a prerecorded video shown at a regular pro-Thaksin rally organized by the Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship (DAAD) on Saturday, Thaksin said Thailand is undergoing a "coup d'etat" which is aimed at destroying the democracy system, with the military top brass interfering in the formation of the new government.

Thaksin was also very heavy on the Constitution Court, which dissolved the pro-Thaksin People Power Party (PPP) on Dec. 2 for electoral fraud, of tampering with the Thai political system.

He condemned the anti-Thaksin and anti-government group People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) for laying siege to Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports. Supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra gather at Supachalasai stadium in Bangkok on December 13, 2008. Thousands of Thaksin supporters gathered at the soccer stadium on Saturday to hear his "phone-in" speech, which organisers hope will sway votes for a new premier next week.  Supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra gather at Supachalasai stadium in Bangkok on December 13, 2008. Thousands of Thaksin supporters gathered at the soccer stadium on Saturday to hear his "phone-in" speech, which organisers hope will sway votes for a new premier next week.

More than 50,000 red-shirted supporters of Thakshin had packed the stadium from the morning to await a planned phone-in speech from the former premier scheduled for 8:00 p.m. (1300 GMT).

Thailand's ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a man worshipped in some quarters and reviled in others, in a prerecorded message to his supporters Saturday night during a massive gathering at National Stadium, according to The Nation news website said the root cause of all the problems he was facing today was that he had been vilified as an anti-monarchist.

Thaksin criticized the "Friends of Newin" faction, a group of MPs who support Newin Chidchob, a former right-hand man to Thaksin, for undermining the Puea Thai party by siding with the Democrat party to set up the next government.

No major Thai TV media have broadcast the video speech.

Thaksin has pre-recorded the speech in a country near Thailand, according to the DAAD organizers, to be delivered to the supporters after a planned address via teleconference.

However, the live phone-in was later canceled after, according to DAAD leader Veera Musikhapong, Pracharaj Party leader Sanoh Thienthong and Puea Pandin party leader Pracha Promnok phoned Thaksin asking him not to phone-in live at the rally as it could affect the setting up of the new government.

Thaksin, who was ousted from premiership in a military coup on Sept. 19, 2006, was now a fugitive on exile since he was sentenced in absentia in October by the Thai court to two years in jail on corruption charges for a land purchase case concerning his wife. After the Britain revoked his visas, he was reported to have resided now in Dubai.

This was the first speech Thaksin delivered to his supporters since the court sentence.

Thaksin's speech came two days before the House of Representatives is set to vote on a new prime minister after Former Premier and Thaksin's brother-in-law Somchai Wongsawat stepped down upon a court verdict on Dec. 2 that disbanded his People Power Party (PPP), which was seen as a reincarnation of Thaksin-founded, but now defunct Thai Rak Thai party.

The long-time opposition Democrat Party and the PPP's new shelter Puea Thai party are now vying to form a coalition government, both claiming they have enough seats in the House required to lead a new government.

The speech also comes after the "Friends of Newin" turned recently to pledge alliance with the Democrat to form a new government.

Over 2,000 policemen were deployed to keep order at the Stadium during the pro-Thaksin rally.

- Asian Tribune -

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