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Thaksin and Samak clash over Cabinet
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  1. #1
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    Thaksin and Samak clash over Cabinet

    NEW GOVERNMENT


    Thaksin and Samak clash over Cabinet

    PM keen to chart own course, angering 'boss' to return to UK


    Cracks have begun to appear in the relationship between Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and Thaksin Shinawatra, as Samak wants to have a bigger say in forming the Cabinet and hang on to his premiership over the next two to three years.

    According to sources familiar with the development, Samak is now causing trouble for Thaksin because he wants to have his own way in running the government.

    Shortly after his appointment as prime minister, Samak decided to reshuffle the list of Cabinet members presented to him by all six coalition partners. He found several of the candidates to be unacceptable.

    His interference in the formation of the Cabinet resulted in the removal of Chai Chidchob and Srimuang Charoensiri from the list of candidates for portfolios in the Office of the Prime Minister and Energy Ministry respectively. Chai is the father of Newin Chidchob from Buri Ram.

    "Samak is now causing a lot of headaches for Thaksin and Newin," said one political observer.

    Political sources said Samak had reshuffled up to 12 positions in the Cabinet list presented to him.

    Samak led the People Power Party, a reincarnation of Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai Party, to election victory. Thaksin is believed to have a great deal of influence in the PPP. The members of Samak's Cabinet, including Samak himself, had earlier been looked upon as simply Thaksin's nominees.

    But Samak now wants to have his own way in forming the Cabinet and running the government. He gave an interview last week complaining that his Cabinet looked like "ugly ducklings".

    Later he explained that he would like Wuthiphong Chaisaeng to serve as deputy finance minister rather than Ranongrat Suwanchavi, the wife of Phairoj Suwanchavi.

    Samak has also brought in Sahas Banditkul, his long-time aide, to help him run the administration. Sahas is earmarked to serve as deputy prime minister.

    Samak is expected to complete the Cabinet list for His Majesty's endorsement on February 6.

    Another sign that reflects Samak's determination to stay in office for at least two to three years is the announcement over the weekend that his government will invest Bt500 billion in transport mega-projects and water systems.

    Samak is good at managing transport projects, and Sahas would help him in this primary task.

    Samak's intention to stay in office appears to run against the wishes of Thaksin, who does not mind an ugly-duckling Cabinet, according to political sources.

    Sources say the ousted prime minister thinks the new government should last only for the short term - focusing on reforming the constitution or introducing amnesty legislation for the 111 former executives of the defunct Thai Rak Thai - before dissolving Parliament.

    Political sources said Samak was willing to work on constitutional reform or amnesty legislation but only after he has been premier for the next two to three years - not six months.

    Sources said Thaksin was so upset with Samak that he flew from Hong Kong back to London over the weekend.

    Surapong Suebwonglee, who is expected to be finance minister, tried to play down the conflict in the Cabinet formation, saying there won't be any rift among Cabinet members, particularly among the deputy prime ministers.

    He said nobody had any objection to the arrival of Sahas as deputy prime minister, since Sahas will help Samak in the transport sector, which is one of Samak's fortes.

    The Nation

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    Re: Thaksin and Samak clash over Cabinet

    I just do not know, Do you think it is a put up show and is he just dragging a Red Herring around.
    You know a lot of people think that his whole chango deal is TOXIN's doing in the first place..
    I never will trust any Thai politician.

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    Re: Thaksin and Samak clash over Cabinet

    Samak-Thaksin clash 'not happening'

    People Power Party MPs said claims that new Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and former premier Thaksin Shinawatra had clashed were unfounded. They insisted the two had a good relationship.

    Published on February 6, 2008


    They spoke after a report surfaced that Thaksin and Samak were at loggerheads over formation of the new Cabinet and that Samak wanted to stay in government for longer than Thaksin had intended him to.


    Noppadon Pattama, Foreign Minister and legal adviser to Thaksin, dismissed the rumours, saying Thaksin had stepped down from politics and Samak, as prime minister, was in charge of the current government.


    "The prime minister has a right to complain about his Cabinet. I insist that Samak has the ability to run the country without any directives from the ex-premier," Noppadon said.


    He said Samak was not a "nominee" of Thaksin's and that Samak had his own way of running the country.


    When asked of the possibility of a clash between Samak and Thaksin, Noppadon said he was completely unaware of any conflict and believes the pair enjoy a good relationship.


    "I don't know of any conflict between them," he added.


    A source said yesterday Samak had upset Thaksin because he wanted to run the country "his own way". Samak demonstrated this by saying that the Cabinet looked like "ugly ducklings".


    This didn't go down well with Thaksin and Newin Chidchob. Newin, a close aide of Thaksin, sent his aide to take several ministries. Then Samak removed Newin's father Chai from the Cabinet.


    Party-list MP Jatuporn Promphan said he believed the "rumour" was designed to damage the party. He said it was impossible Thaksin and Samak had clashed because Thaksin knew and understood Samak's personality very well.


    He said there had been a conspiracy to stir up trouble within his party since the PPP won the election and began to look at forming the new government.

    Sucheera Pinijparakarn


    The Nation

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    Re: Thaksin and Samak clash over Cabinet

    Don't believe anything in politics until it is officially denied!

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