Thailand's coup leader General Sonthi Boonyaratglin on Friday refused to rule out another putsch if allies of the ousted prime minister win next month's elections.
He said it would be acceptable if the People Power Party (PPP), made up of former members of ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra's dissolved party, won the December 23 polls, but not if their victory created turmoil in the kingdom.
"We will have to look at it again -- it's a matter for the future," he said when asked by reporters if the army would stage another coup.
PPP leader Samak Sundaravej has openly spoken about the party's links with Thaksin, who has lived in London since last year's bloodless coup, and the party has claimed it will win 250 of 480 parliament seats up for grabs.
Sonthi, who retired as army chief at the end of September but is now deputy prime minister, dismissed remarks reportedly made by Samak that people should use the election as a referendum on the legitimacy of the coup.
"It's the law, not the people who will judge who's right or wrong," Sonthi said, and challenged Thaksin to return to Thailand.
"He can return now so we can prosecute him, justice is waiting for him," Sonthi told reporters. [via Inquirer.net]
Ed. It's highly likely that PPP will have a big following in the rural areas and it could be enough to win them the election. If this happens, then instead of the election providing closure, it could well be the start of a further period of political instability. We have to hope the King remains healthy so that he can continue to be a calming influence on all Thai factions in these troubled times.
- Remembrance Day - Nov 11.
- Pattaya International Balloon Fiesta 2007, Dec 8 to 12 will involve more than 30 air balloons from Asia, Europe, and the US. The launch grounds for the balloons will be at City Learning Park, which is part of the College of Innovational Education at Thammasart University, Pattaya Center. There will also be an air show and competitions in paramotoring, paragliding, and parachuting. [via Pattaya City Expats Club]
- Barry Kenyon, Honorary Consul for the British Embassy has advised a copy of a credit card will in future be required for the renewal of a retirement visa. According to Barry this new requirement is intended as a further check of the applicant's financial health. It is also understood that some of the card numbers on the card copy can be blacked for the owners peace of mind!. [via Pattaya City Expats Club]
- Protest over Lotus Express backs up traffic for 4km - On November 8, at 19.30, on Sukhumvit Road, at the front of Siam Country Club Soi, over 400 local retailers gathered vigorously to protest against the decision to allow Tesco Lotus to open a number of its smaller Tesco Lotus Express outlets at Soi Nernplabwan, justifying that such an expansion would threaten their livelihoods. The protest caused the road to be left with only one functional lane.
- Tila Nguyen - Pink in bed
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- A New Zealand sheepfarmer has finally been acknowledged as the original author of a song which the Rolling Stones, in their early years, picked up , changed a couple of words around and made into a huge hit. It was originally a rural folk song of passion and betrayal titled 'Hey McCloud, get off of my ewe"
- Pakistani president Pervez "Walker" Musharraf has suspended the constitution and locked up the lawyers, the Supreme Court and members of the media. The only one in Pakistan still enjoying his freedom is Osama bin Laden.