Surayud goes for talk-show format
Today's television programme format for the prime minister will be similar to a talk show rather than a speech to the nation, Government Spokesman Yongyuth Mayalarp said yesterday.
The recorded programme "Poed Baan Phitsanulok" is designed to highlight the government's achievements, and will be aired by state-run Channel 11 every Saturday between 8.30am and 9.15am.
Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont will talk with newswoman Fongsanan Chamornchan in the inaugural show. His two deputies, Kosit Panpiemras and Paiboon Wattanasiritham, will take turns to appear on subsequent shows.
"In the question-and-answer session, Surayud will talk without a script as the government won't be screening the questions in advance," Yongyuth said.
He said Surayud would begin the show by summing up his activities during the week, such as his inspection of the water drainage system at Suvarnabhumi Airport and the progress on construction of two underground rail routes in Bangkok.
He said the programme should not be construed as government propaganda like the weekly speeches of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
"The new show is meant to communicate with the audience and will allow call-in questions," he said, adding that there would be no one-sided remarks to force on the audience.
Meanwhile, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday said Surayud was handling himself well in light of the political turbulence.
"The government came to power by the coup and without any advance preparations, therefore it is difficult to expect any prime minister to be able to satisfy hordes of differing demands," he said.
Abhisit said Surayud's opponents should carefully review whether their demand to replace the prime minister would complicate the restoration of democracy.
In the next three to four months, the country is expected to face many sensitive issues before holding the general election and all sides should cooperate rather than fight in order to overcome the political turbulence, he added.
"Everyone is free to air their opinions, but I repeat all sides must put aside their differences in order to steer the country forward," he said.