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Election

Thaksin is in Hong Kong. Thailand wants to extradite him.

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Thaksin is in Hong Kong. Thailand wants to extradite him. | The Thaiger

The exiled former Thai PM, Thaksin Shinawatra, is in Hong Kong to be part of the wedding party in the marriage of his youngest daughter Paetongtarn ‘Ing’ Shinawatra to a commercial pilot, Pidok Sooksawas.

Thai authorities are seeking the extradition of the exiled former PM from Hong Kong, according to local HK media. Many of the powerful Shinawatra clan are descending on the Chinese city for the wedding ahead of Sunday’s general election.

Thaksin is either a hero or criminal, depending on your side of the Thai political fence. He has outstanding charges and a prison sentence awaiting him if he ever sets foot back in Thailand. Thaksin, who was PM from 2001 to 2006, was deposed in a coup and has been in self-exile since 2008 to escape criminal charges he says are trumped up by the military and establishment.

Thaksin’s political party, which eventually morphed into the current Pheu Thai party, is expected to win the most votes in the March 24 poll but will fall short of winning a majority, according to recent polls.

Thaksin’s youngest daughter Paetongtarn “Ing” Shinawatra will marry commercial pilot Pidok Sooksawas on Friday at the Rosewood Hotel. The couple, and Ing’s Dad, have already arrived.

Thaksin’s younger sister, Yingluck, who was also deposed by the military after serving as PM from 2011 to 2014, is expected to be at the wedding too.

Chatchom Akapin, head of the Thai public prosecutor’s overseas department, says a formal extradition request would be put in as soon as authorities can find out where he is staying. He says this is the first time such a request was being made to Hong Kong authorities.

But before you get too excited, Thailand and Hong Kong do not have an extradition treaty. To further complicate matters, Thaksin is believed to be using a non-Thai passport.

A former dean of Thammasat University’s law faculty, Panat Tasneeyanond, said in the South China Morning Post that extradition of a wanted person between Hong Kong and Thailand could still take place under the principle of reciprocity.

“In the event that Hong Kong would like Thailand’s cooperation to extradite a person in future, it might assist now if there is a request from Thailand and if it thinks the request is apt,” he said in the SCMP.

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Election

Palang Pracharat are warned not to renege on Thai ministry promises

The Thaiger

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Palang Pracharat are warned not to renege on Thai ministry promises | The Thaiger

Amidst rumours circulating that the Palang Pracharat Party may renege on some of the promises it made to secure MP votes from the Democrats and Bhumjaithai, the Democrat party leader Jurin Laksanavisit says he believes the Palang Pracharat party will keep its promises.

Thepthai Senpong MP, a key Democrat party member, is warning that the coalition government will be in big trouble if the promise is broken. He says the coalition government would “function with great difficulty” if the Palang Pracharat party does not stick to the promises it made to the Democrats, according to Thai PBS.

Meanwhile, Somsak Thepsutin, one of the Sam Mitr faction within Palang Pracharat, says that if one of their group isn’t offered the agriculture minister’s post (reportedly offered to the Democrats as part of the ‘deal’), the promises they made with Thai voters during the election campaign could be affected.

Somsak has already spoken of his aspirations to become the next agriculture minister, despite the portfolio being used as a political football during negotiations with the Democrats.

But the new leader of the Democrats, Jurin Laksanavisit insists that the issue of the quota of ministries for his MPs has already been settled. He re-iterated yesterday that Palang Pracharat would not go back on its promises to the Democrats. He added that he had not been informed of any changes to their arrangements despite being aware of the media reports about the prevarication.

SOURCES: Thai PBS | The Nation

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Election

Palang Pracharat still quibbling over portfolios in the new Thai parliament

The Thaiger

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Palang Pracharat still quibbling over portfolios in the new Thai parliament | The Thaiger

Election – check. Vote for PM – check. New government sworn in – not quite yet.

There is still a reported back-room fight over cabinet portfolios between factions in the Palang Pracharat Party. Several key ministries were offered to Bhumjaithai and Democrat MPs in return for voting for Prayut Chan-o-cha as PM on Wednesday.

Now that Prayut’s been installed back behind the big desk at government house, there have been sources reporting wrangling and possible back-tracking over the promises made preceding the parliamentary vote on Wednesday.

  • The Democrats were promised the agriculture, commerce and social development ministries while the Bhumjaithai were reportedly offered the Transport Ministry post.
  • Palang Pracharat MPs claim that, as the leading party in the coalition, it should control key ministries to follow through on its election promises.
  • PPRP list MP Somsak Thepsuthin, a leading figure of the “Sam Mitr” faction in Palang Pracharat, claims the party needs control of the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry and that PM Prayut will have a final say on the matter (a notion that was flatly denied by the PPRP last week).
  • Palang Pracharat MP Buddhipongse Punnakanta admits the quota of cabinet posts for coalition parties “might” change but didn’t detail any of the Cabinet position affected, including the position of agriculture minister.
  • Newly elected House Speaker Chuan Leekpai, a former Democrat PM, waded into the issue yesterday saying he was sure that Palang Pracharat would honour the promises made in regards to Cabinet posts offered to the Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties.
  • Democrat leader Jurin Laksanavisit says the deal with the PPRP was singed and sealed and believes it would be honoured.
  • Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charvirakul says the agreement with the PPRP remains unchanged, and insisted the party will push for its election pledges to be implemented.
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Election

“We were robbed of victory” – Future Forward’s Thanathorn

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“We were robbed of victory” – Future Forward’s Thanathorn | The Thaiger

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the 40 year old Future Forward leader who was up against Prayut Chan-o-cha for the position of PM yesterday, says that the pro-democracy alliance hasn’t conceded defeat but, he says, were “robbed of their victory”.

He is vowing to work harder outside parliament to prove that to the people.

“This election is just one battle in the long journey to achieve democracy. We fiercely believe that, in the end, our day will come. Dictatorship cannot resist the winds of change, the winds of democracy. The people will cry for freedom, cry for justice.”

Thanathorn was nominated by the Pheu Thai-led alliance as their sole PM candidate for yesterday’s vote, admitted that he had little hope that both the Democrat and the Bhumjaithai parties would make the “right decision”. Without their vote the Pheu Thai alliance wouldn’t have a majority in the lower house to make a stand (even though the Senate’s votes – 250 – would have carried Prayut Chan-o-cha over the finish line anyway). As it was he only missed winning the vote in the lower house by a handful of votes.

Thai PBS reports that, despite the election defeat, the firebrand young politician pleaded with all democracy advocates not to lose hope, but to move forward with him.

“I would like to tell my brothers and sisters that this is not our end, it is just the beginning,” he said, adding that the election result was a proof that they did not work hard enough and must strive harder.

“Future Forward party would divide its work and resources into three main areas; its MPs will undertake legislative work and check the performance of the government, the party will prepare for the forthcoming local elections and strengthen the party.”

SOURCE: Thai PBS

“We were robbed of victory” - Future Forward's Thanathorn | News by The Thaiger

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