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Pheu Thai mocks move to seek royal help

SAYS MOVE WOULD LACK A LEGAL BASIS; NOPPADON SUGGESTS ANOTHER ELECTION

A CLAIM THAT the Privy Council president agreed to a proposal to seek assistance from His Majesty the King to help end the political crisis has come under attack from key Pheu Thai Party men.

Lawyer Noppadon Pattama said he had no knowledge of whether Privy Council chief General Prem Tinsulanonda had accepted the Man of State group's proposal. But he personally believed that Prem, who holds the high post of Privy Council president and is regarded as one of the country's most respected figures, would not accept the proposal, as there were no laws to support it.

Saiyud Kerdphol, a retired Army general who is a former armed forces supreme commander, said on Friday that Prem would submit to HM the King an appeal by the group for a royal command to solve the political crisis, which has dragged on for six months.

"Saiyud should urge the Election Commission to hold a snap election and the Democrat Party to take part in the election besides asking the People's Democratic Reform Committee to stop its rallies. Do not opt for measures beyond the charter boundaries, as the country has not reached a dead-end,'' he said.

Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit quoted Prem's close aide Lt General Pitsanu Phuttha-wong, chief of the Office of the General Prem Tinsulanonda Statesman Foundation, as saying that Saiyud met Prem but did not agree with the proposal. Prompong quoted Prem's aide as saying the statesman felt strange about a former high ranking military man who was also Pollwatch chairman stage a political move that may cross lines of the charter.

"The country is facing problems. While people want to take a step towards an election, Saiyud wants to lead them by jumping through the window. The proposal could upset the King. Privy Councillors should be above politics,'' he said.

"Saiyud risks becoming a wreck late in life. I believe he is a medium of anti-government groups and his move has a political implication,'' Prompong said.

The spokesman questioned Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva's motive to seek co-operation from all sides to end the political impasse. He said if Abhisit was sincere and was seeking redemption for teaming up with anti-government groups in plunging the country into a crisis, he should vow to take part in the election as soon as possible and declare an iron rule to make party members who have joined the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) stop carrying out any activities with the group.

He said he suspected Abhisit only faked his fights with PDRC chief Suthep Thaugsuban to shore up the Democrat Party's image.

Pheu Thai's director on political affairs Udomdej Rattanasatien said Abhisit's latest political move was a last-ditch attempt to restore the party's name as an institution that upholds democracy. "When he sees that the PDRC and Abhisit's common ground of having reform before an election was not feasible, he was forced to do a U-turn to show a commitment to democracy and election,'' he said.


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