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Sat, April 8, 2006 : Last updated 9:06 am (Thai local time)



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Home > National > Choose carefully, says Suthep





REPLACING THAKSIN
Choose carefully, says Suthep

Wrong choice will prolong political crisis, Thai Rak Thai faction leader warns

Thai Rak Thai Party deputy leader Somsak Thepsuthin says if the party picks a prime minister unacceptable to society, the country cannot move on but will be stuck with the current political stalemate.

Somsak was speaking before heading a meeting of 80 members of his Wang Nam Yom faction to decide whom the faction will support as the next PM. The faction will push for a particular party list MP to be PM when the House re-convenes.

Six Thai Rak Thai factions on Thursday had decided to back caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak as the next prime minister, to free the party from Thaksin Shinawatra's influence.

Wang Nam Yom (130 MPs), Rim Nam (15), Lamtakong (7), Wang Phya Nag (10), Chon Buri (7) and the Central provinces (10) factions discussed the issue of a successor following Thaksin's decision not to take the premiership in the next government.

The factions decided they did not want Thai Rak Thai deputy leader Bhokin Bhalakula or Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan as prime minister.

Meanwhile, Thai Rak Thai spokesman Sita Divari yesterday downplayed Somsak's belief that the party faced turmoil if its factions could not agree on the next prime minister.

Sita said Somsak was entitled to his opinion, but the decision would depend on the party's resolution.

Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Suwat Liptapanlop said he believed the decision rested with the party's current leader, Thaksin.

Bhokin said the party would decide who the next prime minister would be.

Asked to respond to calls from the party's factions, Thai Rak Thai deputy secretary-general Prommin Lertsuridej said yesterday it was too soon to decide who would be the next prime minister.

Asked if the party should allow MPs to vote freely for Thaksin's successor, Prommin said the matter should be discussed once the election is completed.

He denied that the party would be divided on the matter, saying those members who disagreed with the party had already left. "Those remaining are people who are united,'' he said.








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