Group of 40 senators denies govt ouster plot

national September 21, 2013 00:00

By The Nation

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The so-called group of 40 senators, who are critics of the Yingluck Shinawatra administration, yesterday denied the existence of any plot to overthrow the government as alleged by fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Appointed senator Somchai Swangkarn, a key member of the group of 40 senators, denied the allegation that the government would be unconstitutionally overthrown on October 8, but added that even a government with a majority number of MPs could fall if it tripped over its own legs. He said Thaksin’s remarks were just noise-making as the government had control over Parliament, the armed forces and the police – including the Interior Ministry – which administers the affairs of provincial governors. Somchai added that Thaksin was merely repeating a prediction by a fortune-teller known by the name Forngsanan Jamchanma.
Somchai urged Thaksin to take a hard look at himself and return to Thailand to face his sentence.
Senator Somjet Boonthanom, another member of the group of 40 senators, said that Thaksin’s comments in Thai Rath newspaper about re-setting the country at zero in order to achieve reconciliation were irrelevant as long as he failed to recognise himself as being the cause of political division.
Somchai also expressed similar views, adding that Thaksin had amassed too much power while he was prime minister, leading to resistance. Reconciliation was not possible until Thaksin apologised and left politics for good, he said.
 “Thaksin said he wants to reset the country at zero. I think that’s not difficult if Thaksin returns to the Kingdom to face justice. He must set an example and not just say it without acting in accordance with his words,” said Somchai, adding than 64 million Thais did not want to negotiate with Thaksin.
In related developments, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the efforts to push for national reform, now led by former prime minister Banharn Silpa-archa, may not have succeeded in bringing opponents of the government to join the effort, but Banharn’s attempts to approach them was a good start.
The premier said she still hoped those approached would eventually join the national reform bid – adding that the door was always open.
Asked what she thought about the opposition setting up a parallel reform forum, the premier said that it at least showed they too were concerned about reform. Yingluck said she believed once their ideas had crystallised, both sides might one day be able to sit down together and discuss the issues. 

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