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Not negotiable. Democrats and Bhumjaithai draw a line in the Thai political sand

The Thaiger

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Not negotiable. Democrats and Bhumjaithai draw a line in the Thai political sand | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Bhumjaithai leader, Anutin Charnvirakul

Bhumjaithai want to retain the Transport portfolio, as promised. The Democrats say they will not ‘return’ the Agriculture or Commerce portfolios, as it was promised. The deals were struck with the Palang Pracharat in the final hours before the parliamentary election of the next PM to secure votes for their candidate, Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Both Bhumjaithai and Democrats have made it clear over the weekend, in warring tweets between the various party leaders, that the situation is NOT NEGOTIABLE.

Which puts any parliamentary majority back at the start line. Without the Democrat and Bhumjaithai MP votes Palang Pracharat doesn’t command enough votes in the lower house for a workable majority. They may try ruling, with Prayut as the PM, in an unstable minority government but the likelihood of ongoing instability would make the situation unworkable.

First salvo came from Bhumjaithai party leader Anutin Charnvirakul.

“Ministries are meant for people to get to work, not for being traded. Period”

The “Transport, Public Health, Tourism portfolios are not changeable.”

The response from Palang Pracharat spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, according to Thai PBS.

“Ministries are meant to be a work place for people, not a work place for companies. Right!”

“Ministries are meant to work for the people and, more importantly, not to be influenced by a company seeking (contractual) work. Right!”

“Ministries are changeable if they work for the benefit of a company. Right!”

“This ministries are not being traded, but the choice of a suitable minister must be such that there cannot be accusations that the appointment benefits a company.”

Bhumjaithai is firmly resisting Palang Pracharat’s demand for the return of the Transport Ministry, whereas the Democrats have made it clear the Commerce and Agriculture portfolios were promised to them and are not renegotiable.

Palang Pracharat are now openly negotiating a return of the three ministry positions in a backflip from the deal struck late last Tuesday.

Talks continue.

Not negotiable. Democrats and Bhumjaithai draw a line in the Thai political sand | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Palang Pracharat spokesperson, Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana (Facebook)



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Malaysia

Malaysia’s Deputy PM sympathises with Azmin’s family over gay sex video scandal

The Thaiger

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Malaysia’s Deputy PM sympathises with Azmin’s family over gay sex video scandal | The Thaiger

Malaysia’s Deputy PM Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has expressed sympathy for the family of Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, who has been linked to a sex video scandal.

Read The Thaiger story HERE.

She said she rejected any practice of gutter politics as she had experienced it before.

“I reject ‘gutter politics’ because I have been through it and I sympathise with Azmin’s family,” she said when commenting on the confession by Santubong PKR Youth chief Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz that it was him in the sex video with, as he claimed, Malaysia’s Economic Affairs Minister.

In his online confession he alleged that Azmin was the other man in the video, but the minister has categorically denied the allegation. In several videos released since the first allegations, the faces of the two men are quite clearly identified.

The Malaysian deputy PM stressed that there was no place for dirty politics as all parties needed to focus on developing the country.

“We Malaysians have to think more about everything because we want to develop our country,” she told reporters after the Aidilfitri open house hosted by her husband Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Meanwhile Anwar Ibrahim quashed rumours that his faction is behind a plot to topple Datuk Seri Azmin Ali by releasing video clips allegedly showing homosexual acts between his deputy and another party man.

The Port Dickson MP said there was no reason for him or his supporters to be involved in such a despicable act.

“There is already an attempt to slander one person and the reason why that happened cannot be justified by another slander.

“What’s the reason for us to do such a thing? Some say it was due to threat, what threat?” said Anwar, who is PKR president.

Anwar has been caught in several high profile allegations, court cases and imprisonment over alleged gay sex acts.

Anwar served as the Deputy PM of Malaysia from 1993 to 1998 and Finance Minister from 1991 to 1998 when he was a member of UMNO, the major party in the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition. However, he was removed from his post by then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (who is currently Malaysia’s PM) and jailed in April 1999.

His prosecution was criticised by human rights groups and several foreign governments, including the US, UK and Australia. Following his release in 2004, Anwar became the leading figure in the opposition and helped coalesce the opposition parties into the Pakatan Rakyat, which contested the 2008 and 2013 general elections.

Anwar began a five-year prison sentence in 2015, after a second sodomy conviction was upheld. Human rights groups again called the conviction politically motivated. However, he received a royal pardon from Sultan Muhammad V, and was released from prison on 16 May 2018.

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Politics

More internal bickering for Democrats over split of cabinet seats

The Thaiger

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More internal bickering for Democrats over split of cabinet seats | The Thaiger

Democrat party MPs find themselves again torn over important decisions..

This time the party is split over the sharing of eight cabinet posts allocated to them by their leading coalition partner, Palang Pracharat. Last week the decided to side with the pro-Junta Palang Pracharat party to vote Prayut Chan-o-cha into the PM position. They’d campaigned on ensuring that Prayut wouldn’t return as Thailand’s PM. The party is currently riven with torn loyalties and differing opinions in the wake of a disastrous showing at the March 24 poll.

Democrats will meet today from 2pm to discuss who, among the party members, are qualified for the eight posts.

  • One deputy PM
  • Commerce minister
  • Agriculture minister
  • Social development and human security minister
  • Four deputy ministerial posts for transport, interior, public health and education

Former candidates are reported to have submitted a letter to the new party leader Jurin Laksanavisit proposing a new selection process for the would-be ministers. According to a source, part of the letter said, “…selection process must take into account the issue of seniority, fairness, priority for constituency MPs, competency and experience in the administration of the ministries concerned and gender equality.”

Party secretary-general Chalermchai Sri-on, who played key role in negotiations with Palang Pracharat over cabinet seats, has been tipped to be the new agriculture minister in the Thai cabinet.

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Politics

Complaints made over 41 pro-Junta coalition MPs over their alleged media shares

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Complaints made over 41 pro-Junta coalition MPs over their alleged media shares | The Thaiger

Just as it appeared the dust was settling on the fractious formation of a new parliament for Thailand, more than 40 MPs of the pro-junta bloc are now targeted in cases related to media shareholding after their names were submitted to the Constitutional Court. 

Should these MPs be suspended or disqualified, the pro-junta coalition’s narrow Lower House majority could vanish and it will be unable to pass any legislation, including the national budget bill.

Newly appointed Lower House speaker Chuan Leekpai yesterday submitted a petition with the Constitutional Court asking it to investigate if 41 members of the chamber could have qualification issues over their alleged media share holdings.

Of the 41 MPs under investigation, 27 are from Phalang Pracharat, 10 from the Democrat Party and one each from Action Coalition for Thailand, Bhumjaithai, Chartpattana and Prachaphiwat, all now allied with the Palang Pracharat coalition.

The submission follows complaints lodged by Future Forward Party MPs, after their leader, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, was also hit by the same allegations and ordered by the Constitutional Court to take a break from his work as MP until it reaches a conclusion.

The Constitution prohibits MP candidates from holding shares in media companies, and if found guilty, they can be disqualified, face a jail term as well as a fine.

It is now up to the Constitutional Court to decide if it will take up the 41 MPs’ cases, and if it does so, whether it will be consistent in suspending them from Parliament as it did with Thanathorn.

Phalang Pracharat registrar and MP Vichien Chavalit, whose 27 colleagues were among those named in the petition, told the press that the party had already prepared testimony in relation to the cases. Vichien said it was up to the court to decide if the MPs should be suspended, adding that the party had checked every candidate’s qualification before the election.

SOURCE: The Nation

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