Samak Soup

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KoratCat
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Samak Soup

Ungelesener Beitragvon KoratCat » Di Sep 09, 2008 5:48 pm

Court says PM must resign

(BangkokPost.com) - The Constitution Court Tuesday found Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej guilty of violating the constitution by hosting two cooking shows on commercial television.

The nine judges voted unanimously that Mr Samak must step down.

"The defendant has violated Article 267 of the constitution, and his position as prime minister has ended," the head of the nine-judge panel, Chat Chonlaworn, said.

Mr Samak was found to have violated the Article 267 of the charter by taking money from a production firm, Face Media, for hosting the Chim Pai Bon Pai (Tasting and Grumblimg) and Yok Khayong Hok Mong Chao (All Set at 6am) cooking programmes.

They also ruled that cabinet ministers remain as a caretaker administration for 30 days until the parliament elects a new prime minister.

The first deputy prime minister, Somchai Wongsawat, will be caretaker prime minister

The charter prohibits a premier from hosting any position in a partnership, company or an organisation carrying out business with a view to sharing profits or income, or being an employee of any person.

Supporters of anti-government group People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), who have seized the Government House, reportedly screamed with happiness after hearing the verdict.

Deputy leader of People Power party (PPP) Karn Thiankaew said after the verdict that PPP respects the ruling.

Earlier Tuesday, PPP spokesman Kudep Saikrachang said party members will vote Mr Samak back in as leader of the government.

PPP MP Witthaya Buranasiri, a government whip, said party members will ask coalition parties to re-elect Mr Samak.

"Executive members of the PPP will propose that leaders of coalition partners support Mr Samak to remain as prime minister, although some have proposed that Chart Thai party leader Banharn Silpa-archa assume the post," Mr Witthaya said.

He reportedly travelled to the parliament after the ruling was given to set the date for selecting the new prime minister with House Speaker Chai Chidchob to prevent a political vacuum.

But shortly before the ruling was handed down, Chart Thai party leader Banharn Silpa-archa told reporters that he would not accept premiership because he could not stand high political pressure.

"It's better that I stay on like this. I want to live a long life," he said.

Bangkok Post Sept. 9, 2008

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Samak again???

Ungelesener Beitragvon KoratCat » Do Sep 11, 2008 6:11 pm

Samak nominated for PM again after cookery show row

Two days after Thailand's prime minister was forced to stand down over a television cookery show, his party chose him again today to assume the role of the country's top job.

Samak Sundaravej's ruling People Power party (PPP), which commands a large majority in the governing coalition, put him forward as their choice for prime minister - a nomination he accepted.

Parliament is due to meet tomorrow to choose a new leader after Samak, 73, was forced to quit when the constitutional court decided that by hosting four cookery shows while in office he had breached rules barring ministers from having business links.

The five smaller parties in the governing coalition that took office seven months ago had agreed to endorse the PPP's choice for leader.

The decision to put Samak forward is bound to prove controversial as it breaks the spirit, if not the letter, of the law.

If the former television chef and irascible rightwinger is elected, it is likely to cause further uproar among opponents. They had tried for months to get him to resign, accusing him of corruption and of being a puppet of the deposed former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra.

Thaksin, who fled to England with his family to escape a raft of corruption charges, remains an influential powerbroker within the PPP which assumed the mantle of his disbanded Thai Rak Thai party. He held telephone discussions with party bosses yesterday as they wrangled over their choice for prime minister.

The selection of Samak is likely to inflame the thousands of People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) demonstrators who have occupied the prime minister's compound for more than two weeks. Clashes between PAD activists and government supporters provoked Samak to declare emergency rule.

Thailand's army chief, Anupong Poachinda, today urged the caretaker government led by the acting prime minister and Thaksin's brother-in-law, Somchai Wongsawat, to lift the state of emergency as it was damaging Thailand's image.

The Guardian Sept. 11, 2008

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PPP MPs from North, Northeast won't endorse Samak

Ungelesener Beitragvon KoratCat » Do Sep 11, 2008 6:29 pm

PPP MPs from North, Northeast won't endorse Samak

(BangkokPost.com) - A group of People Power party (PPP) MPs representing the North and the Northeast announced the decision not to back Samak Sundaravej as a new prime minister on Thursday evening.

The decision came after the PPP resolved to nominate Mr Samak as the candidate for premiership post.

The group of MPs from the North and Northeast said the re-election of Mr Samak back into office would only increase violence and confrontation in the country.

There are about 70 party members in this group.

Bangkok Post Sept. 11, 2008

:?: :?: :?:

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Samaks re-election postponed

Ungelesener Beitragvon KoratCat » Fr Sep 12, 2008 11:58 am

Looks like there were more than just 70 who don't want to be counted as the PM's men: just 161 MPs showed up for the scheduled re-election of Samak today. The quorum is 235; so the election was postponed until Wednesday.

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Re: Samaks re-election postponed

Ungelesener Beitragvon KoratCat » Fr Sep 12, 2008 12:22 pm

Thailand's Samak isolated as friends desert him

By SUTIN WANNABOVORN

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — Political allies of Thailand's ousted prime minister deserted him Friday in his bid to return to power in a parliamentary vote, leaving him isolated following his removal by a court for violating conflict-of-interest rules.

A Parliament vote to elect a replacement for Samak Sundaravej was postponed until Wednesday for lack of quorum when all five partners in the ruling coalition boycotted the session. About 70 lawmakers of his People's Power Party also said before the session they would vote against him.

"Even though our partners boycotted the meeting today, they boycotted the person not the principle of staying together to form a new coalition," said acting Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat.

He said the PPP would meet later Friday to "find a better candidate who will be acceptable to our coalition partners and our party members."

Samak was booted out Tuesday by a Constitutional Court ruling for violating a conflict-of-interest law by hosting two television cooking shows while in office.

The decision by the PPP to re-nominate him was opposed by his five coalition partners and the opposition Democrat Party, all of whom boycotted Friday's session in the 480-member House of Representatives.

With no quorum — at least 235 members should have been present — Speaker Chai Chidchob postponed the vote to Wednesday. The announcement was preceded by confusion and drama with Chai initially saying he was delaying the session because only 161 members were present.

About 20 minutes later he called the House of Representatives into session, saying 259 members were present as Democrat Party lawmakers trooped in and out of the chamber, causing more confusion. Chai then held a recount that brought down the number once again to 161.

"I hope the PPP will learn a lesson from today that they should not challenge the power of people," said Suthep Thaugsuban, the secretary-general of the Democrat Party.

He said the party is ready to form the next government if members of the ruling coalition switch sides and join it.

Samak, a coarse politician who has rubbed virtually every Thai institution including the military and the media the wrong way, has become one of the most divisive characters in Thai politics.

His troubles began soon after he took office in February when a radical anti-government group made up of the urban elite began protesting his appointment, saying he won the elections by manipulating illiterate rural voters.

On Aug. 26, thousands of members of the group, the People's Alliance for Democracy, stormed and occupied the Government House, which houses the prime minister's office. They say they will not leave until it is clear that Samak or his cronies will not return to office.

Some analysts warned that Samak's re-election could bring instability, economic chaos and even a military coup.

The alliance calls Samak a pawn of disgraced former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a military coup in 2006 following massive street protests by the group.

The People's Power Party has 233 lawmakers in the 480-seat Parliament, but 10 are disqualified from voting, leaving it 18 short of a majority. The other five parties in the coalition control 83 seats, while the opposition Democrat Party has 164 seats.

If the coalition fractures completely, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva could emerge as a viable candidate for the prime minister's post. Abhisit previously suggested he would be willing to lead a nonpartisan unity government of all parties.

Associated Press Sept. 12, 2008

Looks like the calls from London didn't help. Or was that just their aim? :wave

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Samak gives up bid for PM's job

Ungelesener Beitragvon KoratCat » Sa Sep 13, 2008 8:19 am

Thailand's Samak gives up bid for PM's job


By SUTIN WANNABOVORN

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — Thailand's ousted prime minister on Friday abandoned his bid to regain his job but the move failed to appease protesters who responded with a call to purge the entire Cabinet.

Former Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej also said he would give up leadership of the ruling party, according to his aide Teerapon Noprampa.

The announcements came after Samak's People's Power Party said it would not try to reinstall Samak. That surprise decision was a clear sign that the ruling party sees the blunt-speaking conservative as a liability.

Samak, 73, has antagonized many segments of Thai society during four decades in politics, including the media and the military.

A Constitutional Court ruling dismissed him on Tuesday for violating a conflict-of-interest law by accepting money for hosting two television cooking shows while in office.

The court ruling cleared the way to appointing a new prime minister — and allowed Samak an exit without having to bow to protesters demanding his resignation.

A clear successor to Samak was yet to emerge. Two of the three candidates shortlisted by the ruling party have close links to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, which could further incense protesters who objected to Samak because they said he was a Thaksin stooge.

Thaksin, who recently fled to Britain while facing corruption charges, was ousted in a 2006 coup after street demonstrations by the People's Alliance for Democracy.

Criticism of Samak's leadership turned into a national crisis on Aug. 26, when anti-government protesters from the alliance that helped bring down Thaksin occupied the grounds of the prime minister's office in Bangkok and refused to leave until Samak resigned.

The protesters remain ensconced on the Government House grounds, and have vowed to stay if a Thaksin crony becomes the next prime minister.

The ruling party's shortlist of candidates includes acting Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, who was deputy prime minister and education minister in Samak's Cabinet and is a brother-in-law of Thaksin; Justice Minister Sompong Amornwiwat; and Finance Minister Surapong Suebwonglee, a confidante of Thaksin.

The House of Representatives was supposed to pick a new prime minister on Friday, but failed to do so after not enough members showed up to hold a valid vote. The vote was rescheduled for Wednesday.

Suriyasai Katasila, a spokesman for the protest group, said they were not appeased by Samak's decision.

"We will still carry on our protest and call for the resignation of the whole Cabinet after Samak has stepped down. The government is a proxy, a puppet, for Thaksin Shinawatra and his legacy which we have seen as an evil system for this country," he told The Associated Press.

Samak's Cabinet continue to serve as a caretaker government.

Commentators had said it would only make the crisis worse if Samak sought to regain his seat. There is concern that the instability caused by the protests could result in economic chaos or even a military coup.

After meeting all day Friday, Samak's party agreed not to endorse Samak at next week's House vote because of opposition from the other five parties in the ruling coalition. About 70 lawmakers of Samak's own party also opposed him.

Several alternatives to Samak have been touted by press and politicians.

Chat Thai Party leader Banharn Silpa-archa, who served as prime minister in one of the country's more poorly regarded administrations in 1995-96, could be put forward as another coalition choice.

If the coalition were to fracture, Abhisit Vejjajiva of the opposition Democrat Party, which holds the second highest number of seats in the House, could become a viable candidate.

Abhisit has also suggested he would be willing to lead a nonpartisan unity government of all parties.

The People's Power Party has 233 lawmakers in the 480-seat Parliament, but 10 are disqualified from voting, leaving it 18 short of a majority. The other five parties in the coalition control 83 seats, while the opposition Democrat Party has 164 seats.

Democrat Party leader Abhisit said "It's time to get the country out of its crisis, and to do that we need leaders with a fresh attitude."

"The people are hurting, the economy is hurting. And, unless we are open-minded about what kind of solutions are available, we can't take things forward."

Associated Press Sept. 13, 2008


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