Monday, April 9, 2007

Thai PM Surayud in Hospital for 3 Days, Gov't Issues Soviet Style Announcement Concerning his Return

Premier enters hospital as resignation rumours swirl


Amidst unsubstantiated rumours that he was considering stepping down within a month, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont has suddenly checked into a hospital for a few days.The premier was admitted to the Bangkok General Hospital on Monday and was planning to stay for a while in order to receive a thorough medical check-up.

Khunying Chitravadee Chulanont, the premier's wife, told reporters that there was nothing about Gen Surayud's health to be worried about, and that the visit to the hospital was "a normal check-up."

There was no warning to the public that Gen Surayud intended to go to the hospital. When asked if the premier would stay at the Bangkok Hospital overnight on Monday, his wife replied, "Yes."

The reports on the planned resignation of the premier intensified after he cancelled his official duties for Monday, including an opening of a seminar on "Prevailing Justice and Public Participation", meeting of a team of senior executives from Macao, and an exclusive interview with political and military news editors of TV Channel 7.

Doctors at the hospital held a press conference on Monday afternoon, saying that Gen Surayud would be able to go back to work on Thursday - the beginning of a five-day Songkran (Thai New Year) long weekend.

They said his condition was normal and that they would spend two to three days to do a thorough check-up on him.

On Monday morning, the official government spokesman said Gen Surayud would visit the South this week, following the Tuesday cabinet meeting. His statement indicated that the spokesman was taken by surprise by the hospital announcement.

Deputy Prime Minister Paiboon Wattanasiritham said he had no comment on the rumours that Gen Surayud intended to step down. But he said the premier was under heavy political pressure.


International Herald Tribune with the same story here

This is an interesting development. I could sense that there was a lot of plotting going on while Surayud was in Japan.

The CNS and Surayud government are probably negotiating on a face saving exit strategy right now.

What can Surayud do? He has no power. If Prem and the king don't back him, he is gone.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Surayud's exist strategy is an easy read. He'll stay home playing with his grandchildren for a year or two, and will later be called (returned?) to the privy council. When Prem dies he may take over the job. There are some who make sure Thailand will remain the kingdom as long as their DNAs continue to function.

Have enough with that land.