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

06BANGKOK6004 AMBASSADOR PRESSES CDR ON TRANSITION

leave a comment »

“80137”,”9/29/2006 10:28″,”06BANGKOK6004″,

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,

“06BANGKOK5973|06BANGKOK6003″,”VZCZCXRO4602

OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM

DE RUEHBK #6004/01 2721028

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 291028Z SEP 06

FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1993

INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 6103

RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 1534

RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 2154

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1192

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY

RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY

RHHMUNA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI PRIORITY

RHFJSCC/COMMARFORPAC PRIORITY

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY”,

“C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BANGKOK 006004

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

TREASURY PASS TO FRB SAN FRANCISCO/TERESA CURRAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/29/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PHUM, KDEM, MOPS, ASEC, TH

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR PRESSES CDR ON TRANSITION

 

REF: A. BANGKOK 6003 (CONSTITUTION CONCERNS)

B. BANGKOK 5973 (MEETING WITH SURAYUD)

 

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

 

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) The Ambassador on September 29 pressed Council for

Democratic Reform (CDR) Secretary General Winai Phattiyakul

to address concerns that CDR members would retain substantial

influence after the promulgation of the interim constitution.

Winai explained that certain provisions of the interim

constitution would be more moderate than critics feared (ref

A). Detained members of Thaksin\’s cabinet would soon be

released, but there was no timetable for the restoration of

full civil liberties. Winai asked that the USG put faith in

Privy Councilor Surayud, who seems nearly certain to become

the next Prime Minister. Winai seemed unwilling to

contemplate accelerating elections, as he explained the

difficulty in creating a new democratic system that would not

be as easy to manipulate as that established by the 1997

constitution. End Summary.

 

TIME FRAME FOR DEVELOPMENTS

—————————

 

2. (C) The Ambassador called on CDR Secretary General Winai

on September 29, to discuss progress toward a transition to a

civilian government and to express concern about rumored

provisions of the interim constitution. (Ref A provides more

detail on those provisions.) Winai opened the conversation

by noting that the interim constitution would be finalized on

September 30; then, CDR leader General Sonthi would name the

next Prime Minister. The King\’s endorsement of the Prime

Minister could come as early as October 1, or as late as

October 4. The Ambassador noted that October 4 would be

later than the CDR\’s self-imposed two week deadline; however,

Winai believed Wednesday, October 4, represented the

conclusion of the second week after General Sonthi\’s

announcement on Wednesday, September 20, of the deadline.

 

FORMING THE NEXT CABINET

————————

 

3. (C) The Ambassador asked whether the next Prime Minister

would be able to select his own cabinet. Winai said that the

Prime Minister would have the freedom to do so, but the CDR

would recommend some names and set certain standards.

Cabinet members should have \”no political background\” (i.e.,

should not be tied to the Thaksin administration); they

should be well-respected, honest figures who appeal to the

Thai people. The cabinet members also should understand that

their mandate is to improve economic conditions, bring into

being a new constitution, and \”fix the path\” so that Thailand

has an improved democracy within one year.

 

COMMENTS ON SURAYUD

——————-

 

4. (C) The Ambassador remarked that, if Privy Councilor

Surayud Chulanont were to become Prime Minister, concerns

would inevitably arise because of the fact of Surayud\’s

military background. Winai urged the Ambassador not to judge

a book by its cover; it was important to understand that

Surayud had the right mentality to lead Thailand at this time.

 

PROVISIONS OF THE INTERIM CONSTITUTION

————————————–

 

5. (C) The Ambassador asked whether, as rumored (ref A), the

CDR, after transforming itself into the Council on National

Security (CNS), would select the 100 members of the

Constitutional Drafting Council (CDC). Winai said the CNS

would indeed select the members, but the members would select

 

BANGKOK 00006004 002 OF 003

 

from among themselves 35 members for the drafting committee.

 

6. (C) The Ambassador asked whether the interim civilian

government would be subordinate to the CNS. Winai replied:

\”No way at all it will be subordinate. It will be a

partnership.\” The Ambassador then asked whether the CNS

would have a seat in the cabinet. Winai relied, \”Not at all.\”

 

7. (C) When asked who would choose the members of the interim

parliament, Winai said that the government and the CNS would

cooperate in the selection process. The Ambassador asked if

the interim parliament would be able to hold a no-confidence

debate. Winai said the parliament could indeed have a

no-confidence debate, but it would not be able to hold a

no-confidence vote. Winai appeared to envision the threat of

a debate as an effective check on the Prime Minister and his

cabinet, but he said a public airing of views would suffice;

there would be no need for a vote, because the interim

government would be in place for \”less than one year.\”

 

POLITICAL RIGHTS TO REMAIN SUSPENDED

————————————

 

8. (C) The Ambassador asked whether the decrees issued by the

CDR would remain in effect after the promulgation of the

interim constitution. Winai asserted that those decrees

would no longer be in effect, except for prohibitions on

political activities, which would persist until the lifting

of martial law, or until determined otherwise by the

government. Winai declined to predict when the population

would be allowed to resume political activities, but he said

the CNS would try to restore them as quickly as possible. He

also asserted that the interim constitution would include the

bill of rights from the 1997 constitution.

 

DETAINEES TO BE RELEASED

————————

 

9. (C) The Ambassador asked about persons associated with the

Thaksin administration who had been detained without charges

by the security forces. Winai said that they would be

allowed to return to their families \”at the end of this week.\”

 

ACCELERATING TRANSITION

———————–

 

10. (C) The Ambassador noted the CNS would likely face

pressure to speed up the timetable for elections. Winai

urged the Ambassador to understand the political environment:

Thaksin had been able to manipulate all the supposedly

independent bodies created by the 1997 constitution,

destroying Thailand\’s system of checks and balances. Thaksin

had shown that \”anyone with a few billion U.S. dollars can

take over Thailand easily.\” It would not be easy for the

next administration to create independent mechanisms that

would work effectively \”for the next round of democracy.\”

This would require time.

 

11. (C) Winai urged the Ambassador to convey to Washington

that the CDR members did not aspire for power. Using

military force to bring about political change had damaged

the country, Winai acknowledged — but the Generals had

assessed that if they had not acted, the damage would be even

greater. If you see that a train is heading for a wreck, it

is justifiable to take a detour in order to avoid a

collision. Winai urged that the USG not push the Generals

into a corner, but rather help them to create a democratic

government featuring effective checks and balances.

 

COMMENT

——-

 

12. (C) It appears some provisions of the interim

constitution have been softened since the circulation of an

initial draft (ref A). We are encouraged by Winai\’s

 

BANGKOK 00006004 003 OF 003

 

assurance that detained former cabinet ministers will be

released very soon; however, we are dismayed that he could

offer no similar assurance about the full restoration of

civil liberties. Winai clearly feels Surayud is the right

man to steer Thailand through this difficult period, and we

also note that, as one who enjoys the trust of the CDR,

Surayud will likely have more authority vis-a-vis the

Generals than someone lacking a military background would.

Winai made it clear that the new administration intends to

stick to its timeframe for the process of drafting a new

constitution and holding elections.

BOYCE

Advertisements

Written by thaicables

July 13, 2011 at 6:18 am

Posted in Confidential, Coup 2006

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: