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Pattaya Daily News

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22 October 2008 :: 22:10:19 pm 41066

Pad: Govt Rewriting Charter to Help Ousted Pm Thaksin

BANGKOK, Oct 22 -- Attempts by the Thai government to rewrite the Constitution have a hidden agenda as it would grant amnesty to ousted, fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and all 111 former executives of the court-disbanded Thai Rak Thai Party, a core leader of the anti-government People‘s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) charged Wednesday.
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Core leader Pipop Thongchai told a press conference that Mr. Thaksin, now living in Britain with his family, had attempted to keep the present government headed by Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat in power so that it could amend the 2007 charter, written by legal and constitution exports appointed by coupmakers.

The objective of amending the charter is to grant amnesty to Mr. Thaksin, ousted in a bloodless coup on Sept 19, 2006, and to 111 former executives of the Thai Rak Thai party (TRT), which Mr. Thaksin founded and used as his vehicle to political power, said Mr. Pipop.

The 111 former TRT executives were banned from politics for five years after the TRT was disbanded after it was found guilty by the Constitutional Court of financing obscure parties to run against it in elections to avoid rules requiring a minimum voter turnout. The now dissolved political party was headed by Mr. Thaksin.

The former prime minister was sentenced to two years imprisonment in absentia on Tuesday by the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions for violating the National Counter Corruption Act in a Bangkok land purchase deal.

Another PAD core leader, retired Maj. Gen. Chamlong Srimuang, said the protest alliance stood firm on opposing charter amendment and the government which it charged with being a proxy for Mr. Thaksin.

Gen. Chamlong called on the Somchai government to resign to pave the way for the so-called ‘New Politics’ initiated by the PAD.

Additionally the former Bangkok governor and religious sect leader said attempts by the government to form a constitution drafting assembly was being done solely by the government itself without a participation of the opposition political party.

Gen. Chamlong said his group would dismantle its protest performanced stage at Makkhawan Bridge on Rajdamnoen Road near UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) headquarters “permanently” due to successive royal functions to take place in the vicinity.

PAD protesters have been occupying the site since May 25, and they have occupied Government House for nearly two months. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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