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Pattaya Daily News

02 December 2007 :: 12:12:54 pm 29394

Sonthi Unlikely to be Dismissed From Anti Vote-Buying Duties

BANGKOK, Dec 1 - Prime Minister Gen. Surayud Chulanont played down speculation that deputy prime minister Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratkalin might be dismissed as head of a National Campaign Against Vote-Buying following a sensational leak of the Council for National Security's classified paper allegedly instructing government and military personnel to see to it that the People Power Party will not come back to power after the December 23 election.
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Gen. Surayud said he will not pass judgment about anything surrounding Gen. Sonthi until after the Election Commission has finished its probe into the incident. However, the prime minister said he had not considered his deputy a ”weak point” and it is too soon to say the military may have overreacted towards any particular party contesting parliamentary seats.

The prime minister said it was unbecoming for the Special Warfare Command to have its soldiers keep close watch on any political contestants as earlier alleged. Gen. Surayud, who once was in charge of the Lop Buri-based Special Warfare Command, said most soldiers attached to that particular army unit are deployed in the Deep South and it was unlikely for them to have been assigned to do anything with the nationwide electoral contests.

Gen. Surayud repeatedly confirmed the authorities, including the military, will remain impartial and uninvolved in the political goings-on.

Besides, he said, the army, navy and air force chiefs had already expressed intentions to keep their neutral stands and not to get involved in the nationwide contests for MP seats.

However, he declined to respond to the comment earlier made by army chief Gen. Anupong Paochinda that some kind of political turmoil might follow the December 23 election.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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