thaicables – It's Your Right to know the Truth!

06BANGKOK2005 THAKSIN SAYS, “I WON”

leave a comment »

“59370″,”4/4/2006 23:42″,”06BANGKOK2005″,

 

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,””,”VZCZCXRO2367

OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM

DE RUEHBK #2005/01 0942342

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 042342Z APR 06

FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7667

INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI

RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI

RHFJSCC/COMMARFORPAC”,”C O N F I D E N T I A L

SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 002005

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/03/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, TH

SUBJECT: THAKSIN SAYS, “I WON”

 

Classified By: Ambassador Ralph L. Boyce reason 1.4 (b) (d)

 

1. (C) Summary: Saying that essentially “I won,” Prime

Minister Thaksin appeared on an interview program on April 3

evening and outlined his view of the next steps to resolve

the country’s political impasse. Thaksin offered to form a

“national reconciliation panel” to find ways of bringing

peace to the country, even offering to step down if that body

recommended so. The opposition has rejected this offer. The

Election Commission has announced that it will hold rerun

votes in 39 constituencies. The Peoples Alliance for

Democracy (PAD) has petitioned the Administrative Court to

annul the elections because of claimed irregularities in the

polling process. Army Chief General Sonthi Boonyaratglin

yesterday called the antagonists to stop involving the

monarchy and the army in politics. Thaksin was reportedly

heading to the Palace on April 4 afternoon. The audience is

not unusual, but the fact of the meeting predictably is

generating considerable speculation about what Thaksin will

say, and do. End Summary.

 

2. (C) PM Thaksin appeared on an interview program Monday

evening and outlined his view of the next steps to resolve

the country’s political impasse. Thaksin began by saying,

essentially, “I won.” He claimed that his Thai Rak Thai

party had (unofficially) gotten 16 million of the party list

votes (about 60 percent), while “only” about 10 million

voters had chosen “no vote.” (Note: The Election Commission

(EC) has not officially released any election results yet.

An EC told us that the PM’s results were based on information

gathered from TRT party representatives monitoring the vote

count. End note.) The King’s Principal Private Secretary, Asa

Sarasin, claimed privately to the Ambassador on April 3 that

the TRT miscounted the votes by roughly 2 million.

 

3. (SBU) The PM attempted to be somewhat conciliatory during

parts of his television appearance. On the one hand, the PM

tried to claim the moral high ground. “What should I say to

my 16 million supporters if I step down now? What will come

after me? Can you guarantee the situation will get better?”

Thaksin said that his opponents would not be satisfied unless

he was banned from politics forever.

 

4. (C) At the same time, Thaksin held out a bit of an olive

branch. He said he envisioned this parliament lasting for

about nine to 15 months to carry out constitutional reform,

and then there would be new elections. He offered to set up a

commission of retired PMs, judges and other leading citizens

to study the political conflict and make suggestions about

how to solve it. If the commission recommended that he

resign in order to restore harmony, he would do it. However,

there was no need for any royal intervention to name a

successor. If he stepped aside, then another TRT member

should step in as PM, since TRT had won the elections.

Thaksin repeatedly said he would gladly step aside for a

break if the “mob” would pledge to end its demonstrations and

participate in the next election. But under these

conditions, the opposition has reacted to Thaksin’s “offer”

predictably, i.e. with considerable suspicion about his

sincerity.

 

EC ANNOUNCES POLLS TO BE RERUN IN 39 CONSTITUENCIES

5. (C) The Election Commission announced yesterday that

voting must be repeated in 39 constituencies in 16 provinces

nationwide as 38 stand-alone candidates in 15 provinces have

failed to win 20 percent of eligible voters and no election

was run in a constituency in Nonthaburi after the

disqualification of stand-alone candidate Pimpa Chanprasong

from Thai Rak Thai. Election Commission officials have

decided to register new candidates on April 8-9 and hold the

rerun polls on April 23. (Note: this will give the TRT the

opportunity to come up with new, most likely better-

documented “opposition” opponents, thus giving their

candidates an opportunity to overcome the 20 percent rule.

These opponents may be challenged later, but their presence

would allow the TRT candidates to “win” their districts with

less than 20 percent of the eligible vote, take their seats

in a full parliament and then only later be subject to

investigation and by-elections. End note.) EC officials

added that polling booths would not be re-positioned and the

use of rubber stamps would continue for the upcoming

re-elections.

PAD PETITIONS THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT TO ANNUL THE APRIL 2

POLLS

6. (U) PAD on April 3 filed a petition with the Central

Administrative Court to investigate the Election Commission

for alleged violation of the election law. According to a

PAD leader, the Election Commission violated Article 104 of

the Constitution which provided that the election must be

 

BANGKOK 00002005 002 OF 002

 

held by direct suffrage and secret ballot. He charged that

numerous irregularities had been found in the April 2

election process, including the positioning of polling booths

to allowed poll officials and members of public to see voters

from behind while they cast their ballots. The PAD leader

reportedly added that more lawsuits would be filed with the

criminal court and the civil court against the Election

Commission.

AND PLANS FURTHER PROTESTS

7. (C) Surat Horachaikul, a leader of the anti-Thaksin

academic movement at Chulalongkorn University, told poloff

that PAD plans a strategy meeting this week to discuss next

steps. According to Surat, PAD wants to augment its

“regular,” generally Bangkok-based crowds with supporters

from the south of Thailand (heavily anti-Thaksin), rural

areas (traditionally Thaksin supporters) and student groups.

The agenda will likely include a civil disobedience campaign

against Thaksin’s remaining in government, he added. As a

post-script, Surat added that while Thaksin’s determination

to hang on despite the heavy “no vote” has unified the

opposition, there are sharpened “north-south divisions” now

among the national electorate.

ARMY CHIEF SAYS DO NOT TRY TO INVOLVE THE MONARCHY OR ARMY IN

THIS

8. (U) Also on April 3, Army Chief General Sonthi

Boonyaratglin called on all sides to stop trying to involve

the monarchy and the army in politics. He said political

problems must be solved by political means. General Sonthi

denied the allegation made by PAD leader Sonthi Limthongkul,

that the army had taken the government’s side.

9. (C) Thaksin’s defiant stand in the immediate aftermath

of the election will galvanize his opponents to renew the

struggle to force him to resign. To many observers here, the

heavy “no vote” has badly shaken his claims for a mandate to

stay in office and will make his attempts to set up a

national reconciliation panel a tough sell. If the TRT can

more successfully legitimize their “opponents” in the

upcoming round of reruns of the previous one-candidate races

in Thailand’s south, Thaksin may yet be able to seat a 500

member full Parliament that will be almost 100 percent Thai

Rak Thai. This will not be the prescription for peace that

he promises to bring back to Thailand’s political landscape.

We can expect considerable back-and-forth this week. Late

today, all eyes are on Thaksin’s audience with the King in

Hua Hin. The audience in and of itself is not unusual, but

will give some insight into Thaksin’s immediate tactical

approach.

 

BOYCE

Advertisements

Written by thaicables

July 11, 2011 at 7:37 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: