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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2731

Thailand: A new government likely formed by next week

Bangkok, 27 December, (Asiantribune.com): In Thailand, the People Power party is expected to form the new government in the first week of January 2008. At present PPP has 254 seats which includes 230 PPP members and balance of 28 from parties who has come forward to align themselves in the PPP led coalition.
A confident People Power party leader Samak Sundaravej has scheduled a press conference for January 4, when he says it will announce the formation of a new government.A confident People Power party leader Samak Sundaravej has scheduled a press conference for January 4, when he says it will announce the formation of a new government.
People Power Party legal adviser Chusak Sirinil clarified on Wednesday that his party leader Samak Sundaravej was qualified to serve as Prime Minister even though he was sentenced in April to serve two years in jail following his conviction for defamation.

Later, Samak was freed on bail pending the appellate review on the libel lawsuit filed by former Bangkok deputy governor Samart Ratchapholsit.

"The litigation on libel is classified as a misdemeanor, hence an exemption as the disqualification applies only to a felony," Chusak said.

A confident People Power party leader Samak Sundaravej has scheduled a press conference for January 4, when he says it will announce the formation of a new government.

PPP spokesperson Kuthep Saikrajang said "There is no doubt that the PPP will be able to form a new government and we hope that Puea Pandin party will join us."

"We are not making presumptions. What I’ve said is the truth and there is a possibility that we will get more seats in the days ahead," he said.

He also explained Mr Samak's silence as a way of avoiding controversy or - as he put it - giving out sensitive information to the press which could later be misinterpreted.

In the meantime, former Deputy Prime Minister Surakiat Sathirathai said Wednesday that it is too early to decide on which side the Puea Pandin Party will take.

Surakiat, one of the 111 executives of the defunct Thai Rak Thai Party who have been banned from politics for five years, said the electoral process has yet to be finalized pending the Election Commission’s endorsements of elected candidates.

Surakiat and another TRT executive in the 111 groups, Suranand Vejjajiva, joined a luncheon on Wednesday to congratulate 25 elected MPs of the Puea Pandin Party.

He said the new government needs to build up economic and social confidence among the people as well as bring unity back to the country.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont expressed hope on Wednesday that political parties could form the coalition government after the endorsement of voting outcome by the Election Commission on January 3.

"I have no cause for concern as I think parties could reach a decision," he said.

Surayud said everyone should respect the outcome because the Sunday's balloting was free and fair.

"The people have decided to elect this party and everyone must respect their judgement," he said in reference to the victory of the People Power Party.

He said he anticipated no troubles if former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra decided to return home to fight his charges.

He said he had nothing to say in regard to the formation of the new government as parties could draw their own conclusion.

He said he instructed police to beef up security in order to ensure peace during the New Year celebrations and that he expected a smooth transition of power.

- Asian Tribune -

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