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05BANGKOK2602 MORE REPORTS OF FACTIONAL FERMENT IN THE THAI RAK THAI PARTY

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“30581”,”4/12/2005 11:07″,”05BANGKOK2602″,

“Embassy Bangkok”,”UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY”,

“05BANGKOK1819|05BANGKOK2347”,

“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 002602

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV, TH, Political Parties, TRT – Thai Rak Thai

SUBJECT: THAILAND: MORE REPORTS OF FACTIONAL FERMENT IN THE

THAI RAK THAI PARTY

 

REF: (A) BANGKOK 2347 (B) BANGKOK 1819

 

1. (SBU) Summary: A prominent Bangkok daily, the

\”Krungthep Thurakit,\” reported on April 12 that Thai Rak Thai

(TRT) Secretary General and Transportation Minister Suriya

Jungrungreankit may lose his party position at the TRT\’s next

general meeting on April 24. Reportedly, Prime Minister

Thaksin Shinawatra is displeased with Suriya\’s earlier

dalliance with powerful insurgent Wang Nam Yom faction leader

and Tourism and Sports Minister Somsak Thepsuthin. Several

names have been tipped as Suriya\’s potential replacement at

the powerful Secretary General\’s post, including Deputy

Prime Minister and Interior Minister Chidchai Vanasatidya,

\”Chart Pattana\” faction leader and Justice Minister Suwat

Liptipanlop, or Agriculture Minister (and leader of a

powerful Bangkok faction) Sudarat Keyuraphun. If these

rumors result in Somsak\’s removal, it will demonstrate anew

Thaksin\’s determination to put only those he trusts

completely in powerful party and government positions. End

Summary.

 

SURIYA TRIED TO PLAY BOTH SIDES?

 

2. (SBU) The April 12 daily \”Krungthep Thurakit\” reported

that Thai Rak Thai (TRT) Secretary General and Transportation

Minister Suriya Jungrungreankit may lose his party position

at the TRT\’s next general meeting, which is scheduled for

April 24. Suriya, considered one of the TRT\’s \”power

figures\” because of his role as a major party financier,

allegedly worked secretly with powerful TRT Wang Nom Yom

faction leader and Tourism and Sports Minister Somsak

Thepsuthin to support the Mahachon Party in last February\’s

national parliamentary elections. Their reported logic in

doing so was to play all the political angles, betting that

Mahachon would make a much more powerful showing than it

eventually did (only two seats).

 

PRIME MINISTER TO DEMOTE SURIYA?

 

3. (SBU) As the story goes, Thaksin, unhappy at what he

considers Suriya\’s duplicity, was prepared after the election

to punish one of the TRT party\’s financial benefactors by

moving him out of the Transport Ministry and into the less

powerful (and less potentially lucrative) position of Deputy

Prime Minister. Suriya, perhaps relying on his remaining

clout within the TRT apparatus, managed to keep his Secretary

General and Transport Ministry positions in the first phase

of appointments and reappointments following Thaksin\’s

landslide win. Suriya is reportedly distancing himself from

Somsak, who recently allied himself with an openly unhappy

coalition of TRT factions (Ref. A) headed by Sanoh Thienthong

of the Wang Nam Yen group. Looking to get back in the Prime

Minister\’s good graces, Suriya reportedly is making political

overtures to Yeowapa Lapwongsawat, Thaksin\’s sister and head

of the powerful Wang Bua Ban faction.

 

RUMORED REPLACEMENTS AS TRT SECRETARY GENERAL

 

4. (SBU) Several names are being mooted as Suriya\’s

potential replacement. Two have been close to Thaksin during

his rise to political power: Deputy Prime Minister and

Interior Minister Police General Chidchai Vanasatidya, who

attended school with Thaksin in the U.S. and as a policeman

reportedly carried out \”dirty\” activities for the Prime

Minister. Another possibility is Sudarat Keyuraphun. As

noted in earlier reporting, she is one of the most prominent

women in Thai politics. Sudarat is currently the First

Deputy Leader of the Thai Rak Thai Party and is a leader of

the Bangkok faction in the TRT. A third possibility is

Justice Minister Suwat Liptipanlop. Suwat is former leader

of the now-defunct Chart Pattana party (CP), which he merged

with the TRT in September 2004. He now heads a \”Chart

Pattana\” faction within TRT, and has proven to be somewhat of

a favorite of the Prime Minister.

 

THAKSIN IN CHARGE

 

5. (SBU) Comment: Though Suriya may still persuade the

Prime Minister of his loyalty and keep his job, there remains

a strong possibility that Thaksin will shake up his party in

order to put people he trusts completely in positions of

power. Thaksin does not tolerate opposition of any level or

what he perceives as disloyalty within his party. Though

Suriya has had the advantage of being a strong funding

source, the Prime Minister is wealthy in his own right and

can also raise funds from an expanding number of what he may

consider more reliable sources. This may not bode well for

Suriya. End Comment.

 

BOYCE

Written by thaicables

July 7, 2011 at 5:13 am

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