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Political Turmoil in Thailand continues apace

Updated On: Sep 01, 2006

It seems that the political fiasco in Thailand will not be cleared up anytime soon.

It is said that Thaksin is going to postpone the October 15 general election “as the Senate has yet to select [the 5] new election commissioners”, the Bangkok Post reported. Thaksin has also announced that “those who will be contesting the poll should be prepared for a change”.

Yet, before any revocation of the royal decree for the election and a change in date, the Senate must give a definite date of when it will finally select the new Election Commission. The Senate's EC vetting committee is dogged by hundreds of allegations against eight of the 10 candidates, questioning their impartiality.

Meanwhile, Thaksin’s personal security has been reinforced. He has more bodyguards and his unofficial schedule is kept strictly secret. The media is not permitted anywhere near him, the Nation reported. Apparently “media representatives covering Thaksin's visit to the Education Ministry were not allowed near him unless they could produce media credentials”. Anti-Thaksin movements are also clamped down – the police want to arrest eight leaders of the People's Alliance for Democracy for their organization of anti-government rallies.

Yet others remain skeptical of the bomb plot. The Democrat Party’s deputy party spokesman Sathit Pitutecha said it “appeared police were trying hard to convince the public that there had been an attempt on Thaksin's life”, while the Law Society of Thailand president Dej-udom Krairiksh said “the displaying of the videotaped confession was a police attempt to boost the credibility of the assassination theory”, the Nation reported.

The Lawyers Council has also condemned the Thai police for not affording the suspect Lt. Thawatchai Klinchana the right to presumption of innocence.  Despite the fact that the police have not charged him with the attempted assassination of Thaksin due to insufficient evidence,  the police action so far made it seem as if he were already guilty.

Sources:

Thaksin: Polls likely to be delayed (Bangkok Post, 30 August 2006)

Police 'wrong' in presenting Thawatchai as admitting plot (Bangkok Post, 30 August 2006)

PAD leaders targeted for arrest (The Nation, 30 August 2006)

Plot or no plot, pm gets security upgrade (The Nation, 30 August 2006)

Poll date to be postponed (The Nation, 30 August 2006)

Hunt for new suspect (Bangkok Post, 30 August 2006)

Thaksin: Polls likely to be delayed (Bangkok Post, 30 August 2006)