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30-06-11, 07:36 PM #1Paknam Web Online Staff
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Yingluck: Brunei deal only a rumour
Yingluck: Brunei deal only a rumour
Published: 30/06/2011 at 04:26 PM
Online news: Local News
Pheu Thai's top list candidate Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday morning brushed aside reports of a "Brunei deal" that paves the way for the party to form the next government, saying it was just a rumour.
Ms Yingluck said she had no knowledge of a deal and insisted that her elder brother, fugitive former prime minister Thaksin, is not involved in politics.
The Asia Times Online newspaper reported that Wattana Muangsuk, a list candidate of the Pheu Thai Party and former commerce minister in the Thai Rak Thai government, had taken Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon to Brunei to make a deal.
Under the deal, the army would allow Pheu Thai to form a government in exchange for the Pheu Thai led-administration refraining from taking legal action against army commanders involved in the bloody crackdown on the anti-government red-shirt protesters in April and May last year.
The Asia Times Online said Pheu Thai had also agreed not to interfere with the military annual reshuffle in September and that Thaksin must direct those of his supporters who had attacked the high institution to stop doing so.
Mr Wattana also described the report by Asia Times Online as baseless, insisting that he had not gone to Brunei with Gen Prawit as was reported. He admitted that he had made trips to Brunei to visit Thaksin because he was a cabinet member in his former government.
Gen Prawit appeared to be unavailable today, with no media outlets reporting any comments from him.
Asked about reports that he had approached key figures of several political parties on behalf of Thaksin, inviting them to take part in the forming of the next administration, Mr Wattana said that was also wrong.
"I don't have the charisma to do that. I believe there has been no discussion on the formation of the next government as speculated because all parties have to wait for the results of the election first," Mr Wattana said.
Asked about the possibility of another coup if Pheu Thai forms the next government, Mr Wattana said it was just a story made up by his party's political rivals.
He expected his party to win at least 250 House seats and possibly as many as 300 in Sunday's general election. Even with a landslide win, smaller parties would also be needed in a coalition because a vase cannot have only flowers, fern fronds are also necessary to make it more beautiful, he added.
However, Prime Minister and Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva disagreed.
Exuding confidence, he said he believed his party will certainly win the July 3 election and have the legitimacy to form the next government.
Mr Abhisit denied the claim by Pheu Thai that the Democrat-led government had turned areas of trade with neighbouring countries into battlefields.
In fact, judging from cross-border trade figures, trade with neighbouring countries had considerably increased.
There had been problems with Cambodia but the problems were caused by previous governments under the People Power and Pheu Thai parties, Mr Abhisit said.
It was now time for the people to make an important decision - vote for Pheu Thai and get a government which is friendly to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and lose some territory, or vote for the Democrat Party, a party that will protect the country's sovereignty.
Mr Abhisit called for all concerned to look forward to the election, saying there had been no conditions which could lead to a coup.
During the past two weeks of campaigning the Democrat Party had won more support, partly from the June 23 rally at the Ratchaprasong intersection, he said.
He called for all to accept the people's decision in the election and believed the Democrats would come first and form the next government.
Chartthaipattana Party chief adviser Banharn Silpa-archa said again that he was fed up with people who do not keep their word.
"Sometimes when you're with someone for a long time, you can get tired of them. Honestly, I want to work with people who keep their word," said Mr Banharn, whose party is in the coalition government under the Democrat Party.
When reporters asked Mr Banharn whether there would be political turbulence if either the Democrats or Pheu Thai wins Sunday's election, he said the winning party must get the first chance in forming the next government.
If the winning party could not set up a government, the runner-up should get the chance to do so, the former prime minister and banned politician said.
Mr Banharn said he did not believe there would be another coup after the election result is known.
The national army chief, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, said there will definitely not be a coup even if the Pheu Thai Party wins the election and has the legitimacy to form a government.
He was replying to questions raised by reporters on his return from a visit to Korea.
Gen Prayuth also repeated his call that all sides refrain from trying to drag the military into politics. Whoever is government, the army is duty-bound to protect national sovereignty, he said.
Asked about concerns that fighting on the border might resume now Thailand had announced its withdrawal from the World Heritage Convention, he said fighting was not a solution to existing problems, which need to be solved through negotiations.
Gen Prayuth said he believed Thailand and Cambodia would soon resume talks.
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