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

08BANGKOK1933 THE PARLIAMENT’S TURN – NO CONFIDENCE DEBATE SCHEDULED

leave a comment »

“159242”,”6/23/2008 11:02″,”08BANGKOK1933″,

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,””,

“VZCZCXRO0938

OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH

DE RUEHBK #1933/01 1751102

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 231102Z JUN 08

FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3491

INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI

RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC”,

“C O N F I D E N T I A L

SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 001933

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR PHU

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/22/2018

TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, PREL, KDEM, TH

SUBJECT: THE PARLIAMENT\’S TURN – NO CONFIDENCE DEBATE

SCHEDULED

 

REF: BANGKOK 1917 (ANTI-GOVERNMENT DEMONSTRATORS)

 

Classified By: A/DCM Anne Casper, reason 1.4 (b) and (d).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: While peaceful demonstrators continue to

surround Government House, the government has agreed to send

the affected ministers to participate in the no-confidence

debate requested by the opposition Democrat Party on June

24-25, and to appear before the Senate to answer questions on

June 23. The Democrats have little expectation that the

no-confidence motion will pass, but in the wake of weeks of

street demonstrations, they want to bring the political

process back to the Parliament. It is not clear how the

demonstrators will respond to the no-confidence vote. It is

possible that further concessions by the government —

particularly pledges not to interfere in the court cases

against former PM Thaksin — could be enough to end the

demonstrations. However, a PAD supporter told us that the

protests might also escalate, if the demonstrators viewed the

Parliament\’s action as ineffectual. The government will take

a pounding from the Parliament this week, but it still

appears to have the votes to weather the no confidence

debate. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) With the People\’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD)

demonstration surrounding the Government House and calling

for the PM\’s resignation, the government agreed to put the

opposition request for a no-confidence debate on the

Parliament\’s schedule for this week. The government also

agreed to accede to the request by a group of senators who

wanted to debate the government\’s performance. The Senate

action is taking place on Monday, June 23, while the

no-confidence debate in the lower house will be held on

Tuesday and Wednesday.

 

3. (C) The Democrats — the sole opposition party — say that

there is little expectation that the government coalition

will crack as a result of the no-confidence debate or the

current level of protests. The party\’s Secretary-General

told us on Friday that there was no coordination between the

Democrats and the PAD about the timing of the motion, which

he did not expect to pass. Former Ambassador to the US

Kasit, who is both a Democrat party advisor and a frequent

speaker at PAD rallies, told us much the same thing today.

He did add that the strong emotions evoked by the

Thai-Cambodian negotiations over the inscription of the

ancient Khmer Preah Vihear temple could sway some of the

coalition parties and even some of the ruling People\’s Power

Party (PPP) MPs, particularly those from the Northeastern

provinces close to the temple. Amb. Kasit said, as had the

Party\’s SecGen, that the Democrats did not want to bring down

the government of PM Samak. In fact, as the Dems are broke,

they really do not want to face new elections too soon.

 

4. (C) The Democrats, according to Kasit, are holding the

debate because they want to bring the political process back

into the Parliament. The Democrats and the PAD share some

goals, but differ widely on tactics; the PAD reflects the

views of much of Thai civil society in disdaining and

distrusting political parties and politicians. Kasit was

unsure how the PAD would respond if the no-confidence motion

failed and PM Samak continued to resist stepping down. On

the one hand, the PAD leaders might agree to end their

demonstration if the government agreed to certain conditions,

including a promise not to interfere with the judicial

process in any of the cases against former PM Thaksin, a

pledge not to harass or transfer officials who had cooperated

with the post-coup government on those investigations, and

agreement to drop support for inscribing the Preah Vihear

site, at least without significant modifications to the

agreement with Cambodia. On the other hand, Kasit was

concerned that the failure of the no-confidence motion would

only confirm in the mind of the PAD leaders that the

Parliament was largely irrelevant to the political process,

and encourage PAD to escalate their protests. One possible

next step would be for the state-owned enterprise leaders to

make good on their threat to start cutting water and

electrical service to some areas. Kasit said some union

leaders had met with him and told him they were prepared to

take that step.

 

COMMENT

——-

 

5. (C) The government has probably made the right call in

permitting the debates in the Parliament, but we will see how

 

BANGKOK 00001933 002 OF 002

 

the excitable PM Samak handles the grilling he and his

ministers are likely to receive. There is a lot of buzz

about the possible resignation of the PM, but the governing

coalition still has more than enough seats to weather the

no-confidence vote. Samak is embattled, but not defeated.

 

JOHN

Written by thaicables

July 21, 2011 at 5:49 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: