The Phnom Penh Post quoted Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan as saying “I think whoever feels that Cambodia is an option for a Thai exile government … it is not feasible, firstly because of our constitution, and secondly because we have a comprehensive regional mechanism as well as international [mechanisms].
He was referring to reports that quoted Robert Amsterdam, lawyer of fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra that a proposal to set up a government in exile is being considered.
Amsterdam floated the idea after Thai army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha seized the power last week.
Cambodia's Information Minister Khieu Kanharith was more blunt. “We can’t allow such a government on our soil,” he said in a message posted on Facebook.
When reached by the Phnom Penh Post yesterday, Amsterdam, declined to confirm whether Cambodia had been contacted about the government-in-exile proposal.
“We are not discussing anything more than the fact that we are actively considering this. We are not making any statements yet. The situation in Thailand is incredibly fluid. We are preparing but we are not declaring,” he said in a phone interview.
“As a result of that, I don’t want to say anything about who would be the host country.… I’m not going to say anything about where, that doesn’t make any sense at this point.”
Amsterdam added that any government in exile, according to international law, would be “independent of Mr Shinawatra” and dependent on a member of Yingluck’s cabinet who has escaped the country – a person who he declined to name.
“Under international law, we need a representative of the past government.… But Mr Shinawatra continues to be a majorly important political force in Thailand.”