Thaksin’s problem is stiffer scrutiny

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“Today, most people in power are associated with Thaksin. However, the independent agencies, such as courts and other organisations, can no longer be intervened. In the past, it was easier to appoint favoured persons, with the aid of helpful senators,”

Those appointees had to follow instructions from the government, which made scrutiny ineffective. But, today the scrutiny is more intense; we have to accept that,”

Former premier Chuan Leekpai said yesterday that a major problem for ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra was not an unfair justice system, but rather the fact that the ex-leader no longer had efficient control over the independent branch and other organisations. 

Chuan, the chief adviser of the opposition Democrat Party, was referring to Thaksin’s recent allegation that the court judgements against him were politically motivated.

“Today, most people in power are associated with Thaksin. However, the independent agencies, such as courts and other organisations, can no longer be intervened. In the past, it was easier to appoint favoured persons, with the aid of helpful senators,” Chuan said.

“Those appointees had to follow instructions from the government, which made scrutiny ineffective. But, today the scrutiny is more intense; we have to accept that,” he added.

“There are no other prime ministers closer to Thaksin’s family than the current one,” Chuan said, referring to the fact that Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat is Thaksin’s brother-in-law.

Chuan said that as a Thai citizen, Thaksin could come back to the country anytime he prefers to fight the legal cases against him.

“There is no problem with the justice system. Thaksin can fight through the normal procedure and in a straightforward manner. However, these days, politicians in power may find it much more difficult to interfere with the work of courts or public prosecutors,” Chuan said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat insisted yesterday there would be no dissolution of the House of Representatives or any political change in the near future, as his goal was to “continue serving the public” as long as possible.

“The prime minister insisted that House dissolution or any political change will never take place [soon]. If there are no other alternatives, House dissolution may be the last option,” said Kudep Saikrajang, spokesman for the ruling People Power Party.

Somchai, as caretaker leader of the PPP, also agreed that a motion for constitutional amendment should be postponed indefinitely so that the People’s Alliance for Democracy would have no more ammunition for its anti-government rally, according to the spokesman.

The premier agreed with most party MPs attending a party meeting at the PPP headquarters – that by seeking an amendment to Article 291 of the Constitution, to allow formation of a constitution drafting assembly, the PAD would have a new issue to fuel its anti-government rally, Kudep said.

By THE NATION
Published on November 19, 2008

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