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Ex-TRT heavies back Bhum Jai Thai

By Kornchanok Raksaseri

The Nation, Thu, January 15, 2009 : Last updated 16:43 hours

Ref url :- http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2009/01/15...cs_30093289.php

Newwin, Somsak, Suriya and co look to the future

At least 30 MPs from the Friends of Newin faction and the dissolved Matchima Thipataya Party have become members of the new Bhum Jai Thai Party, which was launched yesterday.

The ceremony yesterday brought together a host of former Thai Rak Thai executives for the first time since their party was disbanded in mid-2007.

Banned politicians such as Newin Chidchob, Suriya Jungrungreangkit, Somsak Thepsuthin, Anutin Charnvirakul, Suchart Tancharoen and Sora-at Klinpratoom showed up to openly display their support for Bhum Jai Thai. In fact, they seemed to get along very well with each other, as they occupied a sofa near the stage and swapped jokes with much merriment.

Another ex-Thai Rak Thai (TRT) executive, Pongpol Adireksarn, dropped by to join the fun, though Newin's father Chai Chidchob, the House Speaker, chose not to attend.

Though the 111 banned Thai Rak Thai executives have been keeping a low profile, Newin, once a close-aide to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was back in the spotlight late last year when he announced that "his" faction was switching sides to join up with the Democrat-led coalition. Other members of the People Power Party joined Pheu Thai.

Also present at the launch were banned executives of the now-disbanded People Power Party, including Theerachai Saenkaew and Songsak Thongsri, while Deputy Finance Minister Pradit Pataraprasit appeared to offer congratulations.

Once the party was officially launched, key members, including Interior Minister Chaovarat Chanweerakul, Deputy Interior Minister Boonjong Wongtrairat and Commerce Minister Pornthiva Nakasai went on stage to answer questions.

Commerce Minister Pornthiva said a party leader, secretary-general and executives should be named within a month.

When asked whether Bhum Jai Thai would become a power base to push Newin or fellow banned TRT executive Somkid Jatusripitak for the prime minister's post once their five-year ban from direct involvement in politics ends, Nakhon Ratchasima MP Boonjong said no such moves were planned. But he said both Newin and Somkid were experienced politicians and that the party would consult them and listen to whatever they had to say.

However, sources close to the banned politicians, who asked not to be named, said the former TRT executives' ultimate goal was to push for former deputy leader Somkid Jatusripitak as prime minister.

"It was apparent when he let his close-aides become Pornthiva's advisers," a source who asked not to be named said, adding that the former executives were also planning to seek an amnesty. Pimol Srivikorn and Uttama Sawanayon, who are now advisers to Pornthiva, were formerly Somkid's assistants.

Meanwhile, Chaovarat - who is expected to become the party's leader - said that Bhum Jai Thai was an open party created to help pull Thai politics out of crisis. To support his remark, he quoted former prime minister Chatichai Choonhavan, who once said: "In politics, there are no permanent friends nor enemies."

Chaovarat hoped the party would be able to help return smiles to the faces of Thai citizens and help build a society in which nobody took advantage of others, doubted their friends or took revenge on enemies. He said the party, which has the "Populism, Happy Society", would do what it could for the Kingdom.

With regards to the popularity of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Boonjong said: "I believe people do not want chaos. They want to give the [Abhisit] government a chance to work."

He said Bhum Jai Thai would not try to negotiate for more seats in Cabinet - many new members were already MPs.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai MP Jatuporn Promphan said the launch showed other banned politicians should have the opportunity to openly join political activities.

"The Election Commission has not take any action after this [Newin and his supporters showed up to support Bhum Jai Thai]. From now on, I hope all banned politicians, including Thaksin, can take part in political activities short of running in elections. Pheu Thai also has banned personnel supporting it," he said.


Apologies if this is posted elsewhere and if so a delete is obviously in order.

However, does anyone find this as disturbing as i do or am i just being overly suspicious and finding / seeing something that isn,t there ????

<deleted> was my reaction when i saw it on the Thai news last night, seeing the TRT plunderers sat on the front row in a photo call or whatever you wish to call it.

Meanwhile 3 years down the road when the banned get their right to be elected back ( if they are not already convicted of their short commings that is )

marshbags :o

Edited by marshbags
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