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NACC files case against Yingluck to Attorney General

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/NACC-files-case-against-Yingluck-to-Attorney-Gener-30240271.html

AFTER COUP

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) filed on Tuesday a case against former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra over her government’s rice pledging scheme, giving its findings to prosecutors.

The anti-graft agency sent a 4,000-page investigative report in four boxes on Yingluck’s allegation of dereliction of duty in the rice-pledging scheme to the Office of the Attorney General that would have a working group reach a conclusion on the case in 30 days.

In this case, Yingluck was accused of negligence of duty and tolerating the scheme, continuing its corruption and causing losses to the state of about Bt500 billion.

Deputy Spokesperson Santhanee Disayabut said the attorney general will form a special committee to handle the case carefully and quickly.

If evidence is sufficient, the office can file charges with the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions in 30 days.

If it is not, the attorney general will set up a joint working group with the NACC to work out the case fairly.

Whether Yingluck who is now during overseas trip returns to Thailand or not will not impact the case, Santhanee said.

On July 17, the NACC resolved unanimously to file its accusation against Ms Yingluck who administered the rice-pledging scheme in her past capacity as the chair of the National Rice Policy Committee.

สิงหาคม 5, 2014 Posted by | Politics, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Thai army urged to probe torture allegations

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Thai-army-urged-to-probe-torture-allegations-30240299.html

Rights groups on Tuesday urged Thailand’s military rulers to probe allegations a ‘Red Shirt’ activist was tortured during her near one-month detention by soldiers after the coup.

The army has summoned, detained and warned hundreds of political opponents including Red Shirt supporters of the toppled former government as they smother dissent across the country in the wake of their seizure of power on May 22.

In a video released on YouTube, Kritsuda Khunasen, 27, accused her captors of keeping her blindfolded, tied up and interrogating her under duress between May 27 and June 24.

Human Rights Watch say she told them she was slapped, punched and suffocated during her detention.

The allegations are “further cause for alarm that rights protections are not on the military’s agenda,” said Brad Adams, HRW’s Asia director, urging a swift, independent investigation.

The allegations are a “test case for the junta’s respect for human rights,” he added.

Thai-based rights group the Cross Cultural Foundation said it was “extremely concerned” by Kritsuda’s allegations.

“There should be no secret locations, relatives must be notified and a detainee has the right to meet their relatives and lawyers,” it said in a statement over the weekend.

The army, which obfuscated over Kritsuda’s whereabouts for several days as concerns mounted for her safety, has denied torture.

Army spokesman Colonel Sunsern Kaewkumner said he met Kritsuda in detention and she was not “tortured or beaten as she says”, adding he tried to convince her to “be patriotic and stop conflict” between political rivals.

“Was I wrong to do that?” he added.

สิงหาคม 5, 2014 Posted by | Politics, The Nation | , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Banned game found offensive to monarchy

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Banned-game-found-offensive-to-monarchy-30240345.html

THE CULTURE MINISTRY on Tuesday explained that the simulation game Tropico 5, which allows players to build their own forms of government on a remote island, was banned because it contained content that appeared to be offensive to the monarchy.

Cultural Promotion Department chief Chai Nakhonchai said a subcommittee of the Video and Film Office had examined the game and voted 5-1 to ban it, with two abstentions.

He said the prohibition under the Film and Video Act 2008 was because the game allowed players the freedom to name the country and its leader or king as they pleased, and therefore the content was deemed offensive to the Thai monarchy and might affect national security and the country’s dignity.

สิงหาคม 5, 2014 Posted by | Politics, The Nation | , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Prajin backs Prayuth to take over as prime minister

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Prajin-backs-Prayuth-to-take-over-as-prime-ministe-30240156.html

JUNTA

Army chief capable of handling responsibility, rules himself out for job

AIR FORCE chief ACM Prajin Juntong yesterday backed General Prayuth Chan-ocha as the new prime minister, saying the junta supremo had shown he could run the country competently since the coup two months ago.

There would be no problem if Prayuth stays on as chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) while serving as the premier, said Prajin, a deputy NCPO chief.

“The provisional charter states that the interim government and the NCPO will work together. That should be a strong point because the NCPO can take care of security affairs and help the government function smoothly,” he said. Prajin had emerged as a candidate for the top government post last week in case Prayuth decided to exclude himself, but Prajin said he was not suitable.

Prayuth has won support from public surveys, key NCPO leaders including deputy NCPO chief and assistant Army chief General Paiboon Kumchaya, and other members of the National Legislative Assembly, which will appoint the prime minister for His Majesty the King to endorse by this month.

However, some NCPO officials worry about pressure on the Army chief if he tries to juggle the two key roles – as head of the incoming government and the military regime – so Prajin is seen as an alternative.

NLA member Thiradet Meepien said all opinion polls supported Prayuth as the proper person for the PM post.

Prajin said there has been no move to find someone else to act as NCPO head honcho, but the NCPO’s membership will increase from seven to 15 according to the interim Constitution of 2014.

“So far, there has not been any suggestion of appointing anyone else to replace General Prayuth as NCPO chief or promoting a deputy chief to take his place,” Prajin said.

If the two largest political parties and the People’s Democratic Reform Committee decide not to nominate any of their people for the junta-selected National Reform Council, that will not derail the national reform process because other Thais with ability and knowledge are ready to help out, he added.

สิงหาคม 5, 2014 Posted by | Politics, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

‘Don’t rush to judgement on NLA: member

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Dont-rush-to-judgement-on-NLA-member-30240157.html

NEW NATIONAL Legislative Assembly (NLA) member Teeradej Meepiaen has asked critics not to rush to criticise NLA members but to wait and judge them after they have been working for some time.

Teeradej, a former Senate speaker, was speaking after reporting to Parliament yesterday following the National Council for Peace and Order’s announcement of the 200 NLA members on Thursday.

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will inaugurate the session of the National Legislative Assembly in a ceremony at the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall at 3pm on Thursday. Then, the NLA will hold its first meeting at 9.30am on Friday. Senate Secretary-General Norarat Pimsen has sent letters to NLA members, telling them to attend the inauguration ceremony and first meeting.

As of press time, 140 of the 200 members had reported to Parliament ahead of the new Parliament convening its first session on Friday to vote for its chairperson and deputies.

Teeradej was joined by other members in reporting yesterday on what was the third reporting day, including former Defence Ministry permanent secretary general Nipat Thonglek and Auditor-General Pornphet wichitchonchai.

Pornphet said he felt deeply honoured to assume the NLA post and to play a significant role in bringing about reform in accordance with the NCPO’s second-stage roadmap.

He said it was up to the other members to decide if he would serve as chairman.

Teeradej said a meeting scheduled for today between former senators who were now NLA members would be a casual talk with no issues discussed.

Member Klanarong Chantik said all his colleagues had been given a chance to serve the country and they were bound to do their best in legislating and screening laws.

He expressed confidence that the NLA would be able to solve the country’s issues in the long term.

Meanwhile, leaflets expressing dissatisfaction with the current political situation were circulated outside the Office of the Government Lottery and the National Anti-Corruption Commission on Sanambin Nam Road early yesterday morning.

Most people happy

But a Dusit Poll released yesterday showed most people were happy with the NLA members.

Of 1,214 people nationwide surveyed on Friday and Saturday, 81 per cent said the fact that most members were military officials and high-profile figures met public expectations, while 78 per cent believed there were people who approved and disapproved of the list and the members’ performance was being monitored closely by the public and the media.

Another 73 per cent said the NLA appointments had moved forward the NCPO’s reform roadmap to election mode, 73 per cent said the process would move the country forward and 62 per cent said the process would create confidence among the foreign community.

Another 54 per cent said the NLA members must meet the interim charter’s criteria or be disqualified, while 47 per cent said they were satisfied with the members because they were knowledgeable, competent and experienced.

About 38 per cent said they were quite satisfied because of the diversity of groups the members were picked from and they believed the NCPO would be able to complete its reform task within the timeframe.

Nine per cent said they were not happy because the qualifications of members did not meet the criteria and 4 per cent said the public should have been allowed to take part in the selection process.

Asked about their expectations of the members, 84 per cent said they expected them to have honesty, integrity, knowledge and experience, 70 per cent said they wanted people who worked in the public interest and 68 per cent said they expected them to issue useful laws, especially anti-corruption laws.

Asked what they would like to tell members, 85 per cent said they should do their best for the country and 82 per cent said they should work with transparency, justice and neutrality.

สิงหาคม 5, 2014 Posted by | Politics, The Nation | , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

NCPO rejects assault claim

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/NCPO-rejects-assault-claim-30240158.html

MILITARY JUNTA

The military junta’s spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvari, yesterday rebutted the allegation by a red-shirt activist that the NCPO had assaulted her during her detention.

Winthai said Kritsuda Khunasen had made the allegation to draw attention from human rights agencies and to discredit the NCPO.

He said Kritsuda was detained because she was related to a suspect “allegedly linked with several crimes”. He suspected that Kritsuda made the allegation out of concern for her own safety after having leaked information on the damaged parties to officials.

He said during her detention, Kritsuda had cooperated with authorities and provided useful information. “She has been worried about her own safety and wants to live in oblivion. She asked for protection, which we have provided her,” he said.

“Even though authorities have promised to protect her for helping make progress in several cases, as she played a supporting role in those cases, she may not be confident and probably fears that she may suffer legally from the consequences, or she fears her life may be in danger because of her statements that adversely affect the damaged parties,” he said.

Winthai suspected that Kritsuda had changed her stance after consulting people close to her and some red-shirt members who had escaped abroad.

“We treat every detainee with proper principles and reasons and with respect for human rights. There is no reason we would do otherwise or do anything against the public’s feeling during these delicate and sensitive times when we know everyone is closely watching us,” he said.

In an effort to prove she was treated well during her detention, the Army aired a special TV programme with several minutes of footage that shows Kritsuda sitting at a table talking. Her boyfriend, who was also in detention, is shown with her.

“In the footage, you can see that she smiles naturally and her facial expression and sparkling eyes show that she was not forced as claimed,” Winthai said.

The Cross Cultural Foundation yesterday issued a statement calling on the junta to clarify the allegation made by Krtisuda.

Kritsuda was detained by security forces on May 28 in Chon Buri province, east of Bangkok, and was released after almost a month in detention.

She then fled abroad and revealed in an interview on Saturday that she was tortured during |detention.

สิงหาคม 5, 2014 Posted by | Politics, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Prayuth right for PM post: Navy commander

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Prayuth-right-for-PM-post-Navy-commander-30240174.html

NEW PREMIER

Adm Narong echoes Air Force chief on the new premier

Junta chief Gen Prayuth Chanocha is suitable to serve as premier because he has the capabilities to administer the country.

Many sections of society agree with the idea of having Prayuth as the new premier, Navy Commander in Chief Admiral Narong Pipattanasai said.

However the junta chief has never discussed the matter with military leaders.

Yesterday, Air Force chief chief ACM Prajin Juntong backed Prayuth as the new prime minister, saying the junta supremo had shown he could run the country competently since the coup two months ago.

There would be no problem if Prayuth stays on as chief of the National Council for Peace and Order while serving as the premier, said Prajin, a deputy NCPO chief.

สิงหาคม 5, 2014 Posted by | Politics, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Chularatchamontri resigns from NLA

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Chularatchamontri-resigns-from-NLA-30240176.html

NLA

The Chularatchamontri and the former second army region commander resign from NLA

Aziz Phitakkumpon, the Chularatchamontri, has officially tendered his resignation from the National Legislative Assembly. He turned down the offer, saying it conflicted with his role as spiritual leader of Islamic community in Thailand. He earlier said it was against the Islamic Act to join in a political organisation.

General Thawatchai Samutsakorn on Monday resigned as the NLA, saying he lacked qualification.

He was previously a member of the Chart Pattana Party while the NLA members must not be a member of political party over the past three years. He was also a commander of the second army region commander.

สิงหาคม 5, 2014 Posted by | Politics, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Big political parties, PDRC steer clear of reform council

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Big-political-parties-PDRC-steer-clear-of-reform-c-30240106.html

POLITICS

Pheu Thai, Democrats and small groups unlikely to nominate NRC candidates

The country’s two largest political parties, as well as the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), will likely not nominate anyone from their organisations as candidates for the junta-selected National Reform Council (NRC).

Politicians from the Democrat and Pheu Thai parties, as well as the smaller Rak Prathet Thai Party said yesterday the possibility was very slim for their parties to join.

The process for nomination starts on August 9.

Ekanat Promphan, spokesperson of the PDRC, said while there has been no discussion amongst PDRC leaders about the matter, his personal view is that the PDRC need not send anyone to join the reform council as it wasn’t the PDRC’s objective.

Ekanat said the PDRC had been demanding reforms and would support the council by giving advice and believed that junta leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha was sincere in pushing for reform. He said the PDRC would also keep a close eye on the process. Ekanat added that it was the right of some academics who had taken part in PDRC activities to join the NRC if nominated.

He also warned that it may be premature for some politicians to become members of the reform council as allowed by the junta’s order No 119, as it may lead to politicians pushing for reforms that benefit them. Even if they are chosen, the number of politicians within the NRC should be limited so they can be controlled.

Democrat Party deputy leader Nipit Intrasombat, meanwhile, said the party had not discussed the matter, as political party meetings and activities have been banned by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

Nipit added that the cancelling of state funding to political parties was taxing to the party, which has 200 branches and regular expenditure.

He said Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva had stated earlier that it wouldl not nominate anyone to join the reform council but would provide advice to the NCPO on a regular basis instead. He noted that it was unclear if Abhisit’s stance had since changed and acknowledged differing views within the party on the matter and the need to meet and discuss about it.

Udomdej Rattanasatien, former Nonthaburi MP for the Pheu Thai Party, said the party would not nominate anyone, as the party wants to play a role on the democratic path. Udomdej added, however, that the party had been cooperative with the NCPO.

Udomdej pointed out that a number of Pheu Thai MPs have already expressed views about what reforms are needed and the council should feel free to pick up the ideas. He added, however, that the party has yet to formally meet to discuss the matter as political parties are banned from holding meetings.

Chuwit Kamolvisit, leader of Rak Prathet Thai (Love Thailand) Party, also said politicians should not join the council, as the aim of the reform is to curb the powers of politicians so having them on the council could lead to conflict of interest.

สิงหาคม 5, 2014 Posted by | Politics, The Nation | , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

ASTV Manager Weekly will stop its own publication for one month

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/ASTV-Manager-Weekly-will-stop-its-own-publication–30240124.html

ASTV Manager Group announced that it would stop printing its ASTV Manger Weekly newsmagazine for a month so that the National Press Council of Thailand would not be under pressure from the junta.

ASTV Manager Group announced that its latest edition of its weekly magazine had not violated the media ethics but since the National Council for Peace and Order ordered the NCPT to investigate it, it decided to stop printing for a month.

The NCPO has issued an announcement, alleging ASTV Manger Weekly with publishing distorted information to discredit the junta.

ASTV Manager Group said it wanted the NCPT to remain an independent media organisation instead of having to shoulder burden and pressure from the junta so it decided to take the action to suspend the weekly magazine’s printing.

The Nation

สิงหาคม 5, 2014 Posted by | Politics, The Nation | , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Suspect for grenade attacks now in police custody

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Suspect-for-grenade-attacks-now-in-police-custody-30240053.html

A 26-year-old man is now in police detention for allegedly staging several grenade attacks on the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) rally sites.

Deputy National Police Commissioner Maj General Somyot Poompanmoung said soldiers arrested Yongyut Boondee in Chiang Mai and forwarded the suspect to police yesterday morning.

Yongyut has told police that Chatchawan Prabbamrung, who was arrested earlier, had encouraged him to stage the attacks without any

pay. He also said he did not receive any training of use of military weapons.

Somyot said Yongyut went into hiding in Buri Ram and then Chiang Mai province after the PDRC rallies ended.

Yongyut is now facing charges of pre-meditated attempted murders, staging grenade attacks that caused property damage and illegal possession of ammunition and military weapons.

An ongoing investigation showed Yongyut used to attend the red-shirt rallies led by Wutthipong Kotchathamkhun, alias Ko Tee.

สิงหาคม 5, 2014 Posted by | Politics, The Nation | , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Academics recruited to NLA share anti-Thaksin outlook

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Academics-recruited-to-NLA-share-anti-Thaksin-outl-30240062.html

High-profile academics who have made it onto the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) clearly have one thing in common – a stance against the so-called “Thaksin regime”.

Most of these academics also played an active political role during the protests against the government of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s younger sister Yingluck Shinawatra, which rocked the country for about six months from late last year.

Among these academics are the top executives of higher-educational institutes, namely, Somkid Lertpaitoon of Thammasat University (TU), Rajata Rajatanavin of Mahidol University, Chalermchai Boonyaleepun of Srinakharinwirot University, Wutisak Lapcharoensap of Ramkhamhaeng University, and Pirom Kamolratanakul of Chulalongkorn University.

The academics expressed their stance against the Yingluck-led government mostly under the banner of the Council of University Presidents of Thailand (CUPT).

From late last year through to February, the CUPT issued six statements on politics. The first condemned the House of Representatives’ rush to pass the amnesty bill, which was widely believed to favour fugitive former prime minister Thaksin, and called on Yingluck to dissolve the House.

These academics also opened their campus grounds for people interested in joining an anti-Yingluck march on December 9 led by the group that is today known as the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).

Moreover, they ordered the temporary closure of their campuses on some days, citing risks of violence from the political turmoil. Their move, however, was widely interpreted as a tactic to heap more pressure on the Yingluck-led administration.

After she called for the House’s dissolution, the CUPT still recommended the postponement of the general election and urged the formation of a national government.

The council’s sixth statement also recommended that the caretaker government led by Yingluckfollowing the House’s dissolution step down to take responsibility for the political violence.

Although Yingluck did not heed the CUPT’s calls, the prolonged political unrest finally nudged the military into intervening in May.

Since the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) staged a coup on May 22, efforts have taken off in a bid to restore peace and order. With the interim constitution in place and the NLA ready for functioning, the second stage of the NCPO’s road map has now started.

So far, observers can’t help noticing that the many academics now on the legislative bench are the once-familiar faces in the movement against Yingluck and her brother.

Somkid is also a drafter of the 2007 Constitution, which was introduced in the wake of the 2006 coup.

Taweesak Suthakavatin, head of the lecturers’ council of the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), has also been appointed an NLA member. People who are against the “Thaksin regime” will have heard his name before, too.

A few years ago, he co-founded the political group Siam Prachapiwat to press for political reform and a tough crackdown on corruption.

When the PDRC took to the streets, he also often appeared on its stage.

Other academics recruited to the NLA are Kittichai Triratanasirichai, president of Khon Kaen University, Niwes Nantachit, president of Chiang Mai University, Wuttichai Kapinkan, president of Kasetsart University, Pradit Wanarat, president of NIDA, and Noranit Setabutr, president of the TU Council.

The NLA, all of whose members are selected under NCPO rules, has just one representative from non-government groups working on social and environmental causes – Wallop Tangkananurak of the Foundation for the Better Life of Children.

สิงหาคม 5, 2014 Posted by | Politics, The Nation | , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Nominations for reform council to open on August 14

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Nominations-for-reform-council-to-open-on-August-1-30240067.html

The Election Commission is expected to announce the opening of nominations for members of the National Reform Council by August 13, secretary-general Puchong Nutrawong said yesterday.

He said the opening for legal entities to nominate NRC members should be from August 14 until September 2. The EC would then take 10 days to verify that nominees are qualified. Then, from September 13-22, the EC would submit the names to selection committees to make shortlists, he said.

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) was expected to consider shortlists and select 250 NRC members by October 2, he said.

The shortlist will comprise of 935 names, 50 for each of the 11 areas of national reform and five from each of 77 provinces nationwide.

He said provincial selection committees would seek provincial representatives while the others would come via nomination. Interested and qualified people can go approach the legal entities directly and ask to be nominated as a candidate.

สิงหาคม 5, 2014 Posted by | Politics, The Nation | , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Junta chief defends make-up of National Legislative Assembly

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Junta-chief-defends-make-up-of-National-Legislativ-30240069.html

The junta chief last night defended the composition of the National Legislative Assembly, which critics say has too many military figures.

General Prayuth Chan-ocha said he was aware of the criticism that the NLA was not democratically set up and that different groups in society were not equally represented. However, he said, the focus should be more on the end result of achieving national reform.

“In addition to the factors of knowledge, ability, confidence and trust, it is necessary to focus on effectiveness, unity and the ability to respond to the NLA’s main mission, which is achieving national reform within the short-term period of one year,” Prayuth said.

Speaking on his weekly “Returning Happiness to People in the Country” TV show, he added that with the formation of a new government, there would be “temporary Thai-style democracy”. His weekly programme is broadcast every Friday night.

Of the 200 NLA members, 105 are military officers, 66 of whom are active, and 10 members hail from the police force. The remaining 85 members are former senators, university rectors and businesspeople.

His Majesty endorsed the list of NLA members on Thursday night.

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) chief said that members of the soon-to-be created interim cabinet and National Reform Council would also be selected.

“They will both consist of military officials, civil servants and people who support us. Please pay attention to how they could help the nation,” he said.

Separately, Senate secretary-general Norarat Pimsen said yesterday that her office would look into reports that General Thawatchai Samutsakorn may not qualify for NLA membership, because he was previously a member of the Chart Pattana Party.

Aziz Phitakkumpon, the Chularatchamontri or Sheikhul Islam of Thailand, has also chosen not to take up the offer to be an NLA member, a close aide said. Aziz will write to the junta chief explaining that his role as Muslim spiritual leader in Thailand is the highest he ever wanted, and prefers not to accept any other position.

Meanwhile, the Association of Organisations Protecting the Thai Constitution pointed out in a statement that the fact that military and police officers made up to 56 per cent of the NLA went against the interim charter’s Article 7.

The group, led by activist Srisuwan Janya, said the appointment of NLA members should also take into consideration knowledge and experience as well as ensure they come from different sectors, which may help in the assembly’s performance.

The group said it would on Monday file a petition with the Office of the Ombudsman, asking for a Constitutional Court ruling on whether the NLA’s composition is constitutional. It will also seek a court order telling the NLA members to suspend their duties pending final judgement.

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said yesterday that the NLA’s composition was not surprising, as the NCPO needed lawmakers who would follow its policies.

Prachak Kongkirati, a Thammasat University political scientist, said criticism was inevitable as the NLA members had not been elected – a fact that was no different from previous post-coup legislatures. He added that it required mass-media scrutiny to ensure transparency.

Political scientist Assadang Panikabutr called on NLA members to focus on national interest rather than personal benefit.

Chaiyan Chaiyaporn, a political-science lecturer at Chulalongkorn University, urged the NLA to heed public opinion as much as possible before making any decisions.

On its first day yesterday, 34 of the 200 NLA members reported to work at Parliament. NLA members have until Tuesday to report for work before the assembly convenes for the first time on August 7.

Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, legal adviser to the junta chief, is tipped to be chosen as NLA president.

The NLA includes several figures seen as being against of the “anti-Thaksin regime”. They include former National Anti-Corruption Commission secretary-general Klanarong Chanthick, and former senators such as Surachai Liangboon-lertchai, Somchai Sawaengkarn, General Somjetn Boonthanom; Tuang Untachaiand; and Jetn Sirataranond.

The only figure who is on Thaksin’s side is a former permanent secretary for Defence, General Nipat Thonglek.

สิงหาคม 5, 2014 Posted by | Politics, The Nation | , , , | ใส่ความเห็น

Prayuth’s dilemma: PM or not?

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย-ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Prayuths-dilemma-PM-or-not-30240071.html

NATION ANALYSIS

Some NCPO officials fear Army chief will be under too much pressure if he leads govt; ‘calm’ Prajin seen as an alternative

General Prayuth Chan-ocha, the top candidate to become Thailand’s next prime minister, faces a difficult decision on whether he should concurrently serve as head of both the incoming government and the military junta.

Prayuth will have to weigh carefully his strengths and weaknesses, and brace himself for the massive pressure and headaches that will come with the PM’s post if he opts to go ahead.

His colleagues in the ruling National Council for Peace and Order are concerned that he may be unable to handle the pressure well. Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, a deputy of the NCPO and Air Force chief, has emerged as another possible prime minister. Appointing Prajin could take the pressure off Prayuth, a source said.

Whether the NCPO chief will decide to double as the PM will be known this month, after members of the National Legislative Assembly were endorsed by His Majesty the King on Thursday night.

One of urgent tasks of the NLA is to nominate a prime minister for HM the King to endorse. The NLA will convene its first meeting next Thursday, but its first move is to select an NLA president. The prime minister will be selected later this month.

The favoured candidate for the PM’s post is still Prayuth, as reports have suggested he does not trust anyone else. The general’s subordinates in the NCPO have backed him.

However, a recent internal analysis among members of the NCPO raised concern that if Prayuth takes two posts – head of NCPO and prime minister – at the same time he will face too much more pressure than staying on solely as head of the junta, a source from the NCPO said.

Being prime minister, he would easily face more criticism than being just head of the junta and the Army, the source said, adding that if Prayuth makes a mistake or wrong decision it could affect the NCPO also.

Plus, it is not necessary for Prayuth to take both posts, as the NCPO chief has sweeping “special powers” of his own. Article 44 in the provisional constitution stipulates that if necessary the junta leader, with the “consent of the NCPO”, can exercise special powers by issuing an order or stopping any action. This order would be binding for all institutions – legislative, executive or judiciary – and would be considered final and constitutional.

Prajin, who is the junta’s head of economic affairs, could be an appropriate choice as PM because the Air Force chief is calm and deliberate, observers say. He is also knowledgeable on economic affairs.

However, others think Prayuth should take the PM’s post to avoid “wasting” the power seizure, which is how some view the results of the interim government set up after the military takeover in 2006, as well as earlier coups.

It was not clear if there was any link between the top general’s decision and his move yesterday to downsize the NCPO after the interim government is appointed.

Prayuth asked NCPO members yesterday to explain to the public that the council is not a government but that the two bodies will work in parallel, the deputy Army chief and junta secretary General Udomdej Sitabutr said after a meeting to discuss the NCPO’s routine work.

“The NCPO will later downsize to fit the operation to the interim government, which is expected to be appointed in September,” he said.

Other NCPO members and retired military officers are also tipped to become cabinet members.

NCPO deputy chief and Supreme Commander General Thanasak Patimaprakorn is tipped to become defence minister and deputy PM overseeing security affairs. However, if Prajin is not appointed as prime minister, he is also a candidate for the top defence job.

Retired deputy army chief General Dapong Ratanasuwan, a close friend of Prayuth, is a favoured candidate to be the next interior minister.

NCPO deputy leader and Navy chief Admiral Narong Pipatanasai is likely to become education minister and a deputy prime minister.

NCPO deputy and assistant Army chief General Paiboon Kumchaya, who is in charge of justice and legal work, is tipped to become justice minister.

General Chatchai Sarikanlaya, the NCPO deputy chief for economic affairs, is tipped to become an economic minister in an agriculture or commerce portfolio.

สิงหาคม 5, 2014 Posted by | Politics, The Nation | , , , , | ใส่ความเห็น