Thailand: Foreign Minister Goes Just Before Becoming ASEAN Chair

Updated On: Jul 12, 2008

Pressure on the Samak government continued with the resignation of Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama. He is the third top official to go in 48 hours, preceded by the Health Minister and the House Speaker.
Noppadon quit just hours after he returned from a Unesco meeting that approved Cambodia's application to declare Preah Vihear temple a World Heritage Site. The Thai Constitution Court ruled that he had violated the constitution by backing the Cambodian government without first getting parliamentary approval. The opposition Democrats had began a process in Parliament to impeach Noppadon.
Noppadon, previously lawyer for then premier Thaksin, insisted he did done the right thing by supporting the Cambodian application as an earlier international court decision had recognized the Cambodian claim to the temple.
The resignation comes just before the ASEAN ministerial meeting where Noppadon would have succeeded Singapore as chairman for the regional group. It is not certain who will be nominated as foreign minister or if this will be done in time before the Ministerial meeting.
Noppadon lasted just five months and eight days in office.

Source: Bangkok Post, 10 July 08, Noppadon resigns,
The Nation, 10 July 08, FM Noppadon resigns

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