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

06BANGKOK3277 THAI POLITICAL UPDATE: CHECKS, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE

leave a comment »

“65979″,”5/31/2006 8:50″,”06BANGKOK3277″,

 

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,”

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

The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

“,”C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 003277

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR EAP/MLS

PACOM FOR FPS (HUSO)

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/31/2016

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, TH, Thai Political Updates

SUBJECT: THAI POLITICAL UPDATE: CHECKS, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE

 

Classified By: ACTING POLITICAL COUNSELOR JAMES F. COLE. REASON 1.4 (B,

D)

 

1. (C) Summary. Thailand\’s bipolar political disorder

remained stable Wednesday as caretaker Prime Minister

Thaksin\’s Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party pushed to move on to a

new election while the political opposition remained focused

on using alleged irregularities in the April 2 vote to

destroy TRT. Thaksin\’s caretaker cabinet agreed on May 30 to

hold the next election on October 15, which would mean

that–for the first time since 2001–candidates would have a

short window to switch parties before the vote. Meanwhile,

the Criminal Court has agreed to accept an opposition

Democrat Party (DP) case accusing the Election Commission of

malfeasance. Newspaper headlines, however, focused on new,

leaked videotape footage that seems to support DP claims that

senior TRT officials colluded with \”micro-party\” candidates

in the April 2 election. The tapes have sent the TRT into

heavy spin mode, with at least one opposition newspaper

reporting that Thaksin vented his fury over the leaks in

yesterday\’s cabinet meeting. True to form, TRT is now

preparing a lawsuit charging the DP with hiring the micro

parties to \”frame\” TRT. This will likely be the last

bombshell before the King\’s anniversary celebration next

month forces a political time-out. End Summary.

 

ELECTION SET FOR OCTOBER 15

—————————

 

2. (SBU) The caretaker cabinet on Tuesday approved the

Election Commission\’s (EC) proposal to hold new House

elections on October 15. Given the long lead time until the

next vote, and the requirement that candidates be members of

their political party for at least 90 days prior to

registering for the race, this would be the first \”open

window\” for party switching since the new 90-day rule came

into effect in the 2001 vote. That window, however, would

close in the next two-three weeks. In the \”for what it\’s

worth\” category, Deputy TRT leader and caretaker Agriculture

Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan told reporters on Tuesday that no

TRT members had expressed a desire to leave the party, yet.

 

CRIMINAL CASE AGAINST EC MOVES AHEAD

————————————

 

3. (SBU) In a boost to opposition efforts to force the

controversial EC to resign before any new elections, the

Criminal Court announced on May 30 that it will proceed with

a court case charging EC members with malfeasance. The case,

filed by the Democrat Party, contends that the four EC

members broke the law in allowing candidates in the April 2

vote to switch constituencies in the second round of voting

on April 23. (Note, a move that was widely seen as beneficial

to TRT. End Note.) The trial date has been set for June 19.

 

SMILE! YOU\’RE ON MOD CAMERA

—————————

 

4. (SBU) The cabinet and court\’s decisions were soon

overtaken by the release of photos allegedly showing Defense

Minister Thammarak Issarangkul Na Ayyuthaya–who managed the

TRT campaign–meeting with leaders of the micro-parties at

the Ministry of Defense in March. DP Secretary-General

Suthep Thuagsuban provided the images to the Criminal Court

as evidence of his claim that TRT paid the smaller parties to

run in the April 2, in order to help TRT avoid having to get

20 percent of the votes in single-candidate constituencies.

 

5. (C) The initial TRT response to these charges was poorly

coordinated. MOD Permsec General Sirichai Thunyasiri told

reporters on Tuesday that the photos were indeed from MOD

cameras and that he was investigating how they were leaked.

Following a meeting with Thammarak, Sirichai added that

Thammarak denied any knowledge of the footage. Another

senior aide to Thammarak told reporters that the micro-party

leaders had sought a meeting with the Defense Minister, but

were turned down. According to this account, the man

resembling Thammarak in the photos is actually his

photographer. Deputy TRT spokesman Chatuporn Prompan

attempted a separate tack, suggesting that the micro-party

leaders had been paid by DP officials to \”set-up\” Thammarak;

indeed, TRT lawyers have prepared a lawsuit charging the DP

with just that. The Nation newspaper–often at the forefront

of anti-Thaksin reporting–reported Wednesday that the

kerfluffle had prompted the PM to demand Thammarak explain

himself in yesterday\’s cabinet meeting, saying \”why is it so

obvious? It is damning evidence…how can you come up with a

defense?\”

 

COMMENT

——-

 

6. (C) For the minority of Thai who still have the

energy/desire to follow politics, this new \”evidence\” merely

confirms the conventional wisdom that TRT worked with the

micro-parties in the April 2 vote. That said, it could form

the basis of a stronger case calling for the dissolution of

TRT or, at the least, force Thammarak to fall on his sword.

Either way, this episode is likely to be the last bombshell

before preparations for the King\’s 60th anniversary in June

force politics into a short, but fitful slumber.

BOYCE

“65979″,”5/31/2006 8:50″,”06BANGKOK3277″,”Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,””,”This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

“,”C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 003277

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR EAP/MLS

PACOM FOR FPS (HUSO)

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/31/2016

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, TH, Thai Political Updates

SUBJECT: THAI POLITICAL UPDATE: CHECKS, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE

 

Classified By: ACTING POLITICAL COUNSELOR JAMES F. COLE. REASON 1.4 (B,

D)

 

1. (C) Summary. Thailand\’s bipolar political disorder

remained stable Wednesday as caretaker Prime Minister

Thaksin\’s Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party pushed to move on to a

new election while the political opposition remained focused

on using alleged irregularities in the April 2 vote to

destroy TRT. Thaksin\’s caretaker cabinet agreed on May 30 to

hold the next election on October 15, which would mean

that–for the first time since 2001–candidates would have a

short window to switch parties before the vote. Meanwhile,

the Criminal Court has agreed to accept an opposition

Democrat Party (DP) case accusing the Election Commission of

malfeasance. Newspaper headlines, however, focused on new,

leaked videotape footage that seems to support DP claims that

senior TRT officials colluded with \”micro-party\” candidates

in the April 2 election. The tapes have sent the TRT into

heavy spin mode, with at least one opposition newspaper

reporting that Thaksin vented his fury over the leaks in

yesterday\’s cabinet meeting. True to form, TRT is now

preparing a lawsuit charging the DP with hiring the micro

parties to \”frame\” TRT. This will likely be the last

bombshell before the King\’s anniversary celebration next

month forces a political time-out. End Summary.

 

ELECTION SET FOR OCTOBER 15

—————————

 

2. (SBU) The caretaker cabinet on Tuesday approved the

Election Commission\’s (EC) proposal to hold new House

elections on October 15. Given the long lead time until the

next vote, and the requirement that candidates be members of

their political party for at least 90 days prior to

registering for the race, this would be the first \”open

window\” for party switching since the new 90-day rule came

into effect in the 2001 vote. That window, however, would

close in the next two-three weeks. In the \”for what it\’s

worth\” category, Deputy TRT leader and caretaker Agriculture

Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan told reporters on Tuesday that no

TRT members had expressed a desire to leave the party, yet.

 

CRIMINAL CASE AGAINST EC MOVES AHEAD

————————————

 

3. (SBU) In a boost to opposition efforts to force the

controversial EC to resign before any new elections, the

Criminal Court announced on May 30 that it will proceed with

a court case charging EC members with malfeasance. The case,

filed by the Democrat Party, contends that the four EC

members broke the law in allowing candidates in the April 2

vote to switch constituencies in the second round of voting

on April 23. (Note, a move that was widely seen as beneficial

to TRT. End Note.) The trial date has been set for June 19.

 

SMILE! YOU\’RE ON MOD CAMERA

—————————

 

4. (SBU) The cabinet and court\’s decisions were soon

overtaken by the release of photos allegedly showing Defense

Minister Thammarak Issarangkul Na Ayyuthaya–who managed the

TRT campaign–meeting with leaders of the micro-parties at

the Ministry of Defense in March. DP Secretary-General

Suthep Thuagsuban provided the images to the Criminal Court

as evidence of his claim that TRT paid the smaller parties to

run in the April 2, in order to help TRT avoid having to get

20 percent of the votes in single-candidate constituencies.

 

5. (C) The initial TRT response to these charges was poorly

coordinated. MOD Permsec General Sirichai Thunyasiri told

reporters on Tuesday that the photos were indeed from MOD

cameras and that he was investigating how they were leaked.

Following a meeting with Thammarak, Sirichai added that

Thammarak denied any knowledge of the footage. Another

senior aide to Thammarak told reporters that the micro-party

leaders had sought a meeting with the Defense Minister, but

were turned down. According to this account, the man

resembling Thammarak in the photos is actually his

photographer. Deputy TRT spokesman Chatuporn Prompan

attempted a separate tack, suggesting that the micro-party

leaders had been paid by DP officials to \”set-up\” Thammarak;

indeed, TRT lawyers have prepared a lawsuit charging the DP

with just that. The Nation newspaper–often at the forefront

of anti-Thaksin reporting–reported Wednesday that the

kerfluffle had prompted the PM to demand Thammarak explain

himself in yesterday\’s cabinet meeting, saying \”why is it so

obvious? It is damning evidence…how can you come up with a

defense?\”

 

COMMENT

——-

 

6. (C) For the minority of Thai who still have the

energy/desire to follow politics, this new \”evidence\” merely

confirms the conventional wisdom that TRT worked with the

micro-parties in the April 2 vote. That said, it could form

the basis of a stronger case calling for the dissolution of

TRT or, at the least, force Thammarak to fall on his sword.

Either way, this episode is likely to be the last bombshell

before preparations for the King\’s 60th anniversary in June

force politics into a short, but fitful slumber.

BOYCE

About these ads

Written by thaicables

July 11, 2011 at 8:26 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

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 140 other followers

%d bloggers like this: