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05BANGKOK2347 THE WEEK IN POLITICS: MARCH 27 – APRIL 1, 2005

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“29908”,”4/1/2005 10:35″,”05BANGKOK2347″,”Embassy Bangkok”,

 

“UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY”,”05BANGKOK2257″,

“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 002347

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV, TH, Thai Political Updates, Thailand\’s Week in Politics

SUBJECT: THAILAND: THE WEEK IN POLITICS: MARCH 27 – APRIL

1, 2005

 

REF: BANGKOK 2257

 

THAI RAK THAI\’S DISSATISFIED FACTIONS SET UP \”WAR ROOM\”

 

1. (SBU) Tensions within the Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party

ratcheted up when members of Wang Nam Yen, Wang Nam Yom and

Mod Dum Faction met for the first time at disgruntled Wang

Nam Yen faction leader Sanoh Thiengthong,s residence on

March 29. The group announced that it will set up a

\”Creative Group for Politics,\” or \”War Room,\” from which

their members will monitor the performance of TRT ministers

from other factions in the cabinet. The group plans to meet

every Tuesday to prepare their positions before the weekly

TRT party meeting. (Note: The \”war room\” is reportedly the

brainchild of Mr. Pramuan Ruhanaseree, TRT Party-List MP and

former Deputy Interior Minister, who is close to Sanoh. He

recently released a book strongly criticizing Prime Minister

Thaksin\’s exercise of \”absolute power\” inside the party,

which he believes could lead the party to an early breakup.

End Note) This grouping of factions apparently has coalesced

in an effort to counter what the members view as too much

personal control over TRT by Thaksin and by his favoritism to

other factions inside TRT in the awarding of cabinet posts

and other jobs. These favored factions include the Wang Bua

Ban, headed by Thaksin\’s sister Yaowapha Wongsawasdi and the

Bangkok faction headed by Agriculture Minister Sudarat

Keyuraphun.

 

INTERFACTIONAL SQUABBLES STRAIN THE TRT

 

2. (SBU) These recent developments reflect simmering

resentments held by Sanoh and some other faction leaders over

what they consider increasingly Thaksin\’s shabby treatment of

them. The last straw was the recent cabinet makeup. Three

major factions are involved in this TRT intramural

discontent. They are Sanoh\’s Wang Nam Yen, the Wang Nam Yom

(a powerful group of about 100 MPs led by Somsak Thepsuthin

— present Sports Minister and former Agriculture Minister

who was replaced by Sudarat and is still smarting), and the

Suchart faction (headed by Suchart Tancharoen — who was

supported for the Parliament House Speaker job by Sanoh and

Somsak, but had to settle for a Deputy Speaker slot, below

Thaksin\’s choice, Bhokin Polakul). These factions were

\”awarded\” a only relatively small number of cabinet posts

compared to Sudarat,s Bangkok faction and Yaowapha\’s Wang

Bua Ban. Observers believe that the \”Creative Group for

Politics\” could make things difficult for the Sudarat and

Wang Bua Ban members and ministers over coming months by

being as eager to expose scandals and corruption as the

opposition.

 

THAKSIN FAVORITE FIRES BACK

 

3. (SBU) In what looks like a response to the establishment

of the \”War Room,\” Agriculture Minister Sudarat has thrown

some mud at Somsak, publicly alleging that when Somsak was

Minister of Agriculture, that Ministry initiated a rural

agricultural pond/well digging project that was marked by

fraudulent work orders, bribery and kickbacks. Somsak has

hotly denied the allegations, but the sight of two cabinet

ministers fighting over corruption allegations does not bode

well for TRT party unity. Members of the two factions have

subsequently come out to join the public slanging match, and

the open conflict could drag on for some time. Thaksin might

move quickly to defuse this potentially damaging rift in the

TRT. He could seek to put an end to the imbroglio by

redistributing the cabinet pie, so the factional fighting

could mean a cabinet reshuffle sooner that Thaksin had

planned.

 

MEANWHILE…MORE POSITIONS ARE HANDED OUT ELSEWHERE

 

4. (U) On March 22, the Cabinet announced the appointment

of a number of MPs and others to political posts. Some of

these include:

 

— General Phanlop Pinmani (TRT List 2) Deputy Director of

the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) has been

appointed Advisor to Defense Minister Gen. Thammarak

Isarangkun Na Ayutthaya. (Note: General Phanlop order the

assault on the Krue Se Mosque in April 2004. End note.)

 

— Group Captain Anudit Nakhonthap (TRT List 3) has been

appointed Secretary to Defense Minister Gen. Thammarak.

 

— General Rattana Chaloemsaenyakon (TRT List 2) has been

appointed Advisor to Deputy Foreign Minister Preecha

Laohapongchana

 

— Thong-lo Phonkhot (Mahasarakham TRT MP) has been appointed

Advisor to Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Interior Minister

Pol. Gen. Chidchai Vanasatidya

— Pakon Buranapakon (Chiang Mai TRT MP) has been appointed

Secretary to DPM and Interior Minister Pol. Gen. Chidchai

 

SIPDIS

Vanasatidya

 

— Sucharit Patchimnan, Director General of the Provincial

Administration Department, has been appointed as Permanent

Secretary of the Interior Ministry.

 

SIPDIS

 

ARVIZU

Written by thaicables

July 7, 2011 at 5:12 am

Posted in Thaksin, Unclassified

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