The unrelenting political activities of fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra are the major stumbling block to solving the country’s problems, particularly the political mess that is the root cause of the divisions in society, according to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Mr Abhisit declares this in a new book, “The same old Abhisit – in the prime minister’s seat” to be launched on Thursday afternoon at BookExpo Thailand 2009, being held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre.
The book’s author is Somjit Navakruasunthorn, a political reporter on TV Channel 7. She complied the book from interviews with Mr Abhisit.
Mr Abhisit says in the book that because of this stumbling block the government, after 10 months in office, has not been able to bring an end to the problems besetting the country.
”Pol Lt-Col Thaksin is still active. His goal is to return to power. He has made efforts to exonerate himself from legal cases which have already been decided.
”This means, if Thaksin is determined to fight to achieve his goal then changes must be made to various systems, and this could have a serious impact on Thai society,” Mr Abhisit writes.
Mr Abhisit says that after he leaves office he wants people to remember him as a person who was able to bring Thai politics back to normal and resolve the political crisis.
But, in order to do this he needs help from the people in society.
He said the Democrat Party still has a chance of victory in the next elections, provided it is able to solve the economic problems, reduce social conflict and provide state welfare for the people.
Mr Abhisit said he would lead the Democrat Party into the next general election, but did not think he would hold the party leadership for as long as Chuan Leekpai did.
In his opinion, the countdown for him had already begun.
“I would like to say that our political resources have been depleted more quickly than before. A politicians’ work span has become shorter.
”Moreover, I can’t imagine I will be still be in politics 10 years from now,” he said.
Mr Abhisit writes that he will continue his efforts to correct the political mess through the parliamentary system. He thinks constitutional amendment is a starting point for reducing political conflict, but that any amendment must be approved by the people through a referendum.
Bangkok Post / Published: 22/10/2009