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05BANGKOK1039 THAILAND ELECTION UPDATE

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“26704”,”2/9/2005 10:43″,”05BANGKOK1039″,

 

“Embassy Bangkok”,”UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY”,”05BANGKOK980″,

 

“This record is a partial extract of the original cable.

 

The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

“,”UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 001039

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

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E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV, TH, Elections – Thai

SUBJECT: THAILAND ELECTION UPDATE

 

REF: BANGKOK 980 AND PREVIOUS

 

1. (SBU) Summary: Thailand\’s Election Commission (EC) has

announced that it will officially endorse the general

election results (votes are still being counted in some

constituencies) by February 25. Banyat Bantadtan has

resigned as the leader of the major opposition Democrat Party

(DP), along with the entire DP Executive Board. The DP is

setting about picking up the pieces after its poor electoral

showing. Mahachon Party co-founder and chief financier MGen

Sanan Kachornprasart has also resigned from his party, which

may lead to its dissolution. The opening session of the new

Thai Rak Thai (TRT)-dominated Parliament, which will choose a

new prime minister (certain to be Thaksin Shinawatra) about

10 days later, is tentatively scheduled for March 2-4. PM

Thaksin will select a new cabinet by mid-March and has

announced that he will ignore faction quotas in doing so.

End Summary.

 

ELECTION COMMISSION (EC) TO OFFICIALLY ENDORSE ELECTION

RESULTS BY FEBRUARY 25

 

2. (U) Election Commissioner General Charupat, after

meeting with the Secretary General of the Cabinet, Secretary

General of the House of Representatives and the Lord

Chamberlain on February 7, announced that the EC will

officially endorse the election results for all 500 members

of Parliament by February 25. Reportedly, the date was

agreed upon to allow the opening of the Parliament by March 2

or 4. EC Secretary-General Police Major General Ekachai

Warunprapa also stated that the EC could endorse by February

11 the first tranche of the official election results from

races where no election fraud has been reported. The In

controversial contests, all petitions alleging election fraud

must be submitted no later than February 14 to the EC, which

will quickly decide whether they have merit. Where real

fraud (such as missing ballots or suspected ballot box

stuffing) is documented, the EC will hand out red or yellow

cards, leading to \”re-elections\” either at the level of

corrupt polling stations or even full constituencies on

February 20. Four revotes took place at polling stations in

three provinces on February 9.

 

DEMOCRAT PARTY EXECUTIVE BOARD DEPARTS; MAHACHON PARTY SENIOR

ADVISOR ALSO GOES

 

3. (U) DP Leader Banyat Bantadtan officially left the DP

leadership on February 8, along with Secretary-General Pradit

Phatharaprasitder and the entire DP Executive Board. The DP

will meet on February 10 to formally accept the resignations,

name an acting party leader, and begin reorganizing itself.

Popular Deputy Leader Aphisit Vejjajiva is a strong contender

for the top DP position. Names being tipped for the key

secretary general slot include Surat Thani MP Suthep

 

SIPDIS

Thuaksuban and Songkhla MP Niphon Bunyamani. Mahachon Chief

Advisor MGen Sanan Kachornprasart also officially resigned

his position in the Mahachon Party (MCP), which appears to

have won only a single seat in last weekend\’s national

election. MCP Party Secretary General Chadet Insawhang also

quit the party. The resignation of Sanan, the party\’s

principal financial backer, could lead fairly quickly to

dissolution of the Mahachon Party.

 

ATTENTION TURNS TO THE NEW CABINET – THAKSIN SAYS PLEASING

FACTIONS NOT A FACTOR

 

4. (U) March 2 or 4 are the tentative dates for the first

session of Parliament. March 8 is slated for election of the

Parliamentary President, March 14 for appointment of the new

Prime Minister, and March 18 for submission of a new Cabinet

line-up to the King for approval. In an important

announcement on February 8, Thaksin said that he will not

follow the traditional practice of assigning cabinet

positions by faction quota. A confident Thaksin told the

press that the party has given him a free hand to assign

Ministers from inside or outside the party. Thaksin

reportedly has told party leaders said that he will no longer

tolerate factional infighting in TRT.

 

5. (SBU) Comment: Factional infighting has always been a

problem in Thai politics, one generally accepted as a

necessary evil. If PM Thaksin intends to choose his new

cabinet on merit rather than balancing off rival supporters,

that would be regarded as a reform. However, it remains an

open question whether Thaksin\’s massive win and increased

personal political stature will really allow him to dominate

the political ambitions and rivalries of factions within his

party. Despite Thaksin\’s pronouncement, the TRT\’s Wang Bua

Ban, Wang Nam Yen and Suwat factions will be pressing him to

consider their political usefulness to him when he makes his

selections.

 

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BOYCE

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Written by thaicables

July 6, 2011 at 7:24 am

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