Saturday, August 4, 2007

The "Halloween Coalition" Continues to Grow and Look More Scary

Former Supreme Commander Ruangroj Mahasaranont has joined the People Power Party of the Thai Rak Thai Group, a party adviser said Friday.

Karn Thiankaew, the adviser, said the party executive board approved Ruangroj's application as party membership at 11 pm Thursday.

Karn said former Thai Rak Thai MPs invited Ruangroj to join the party and the former MPs submitted his application to the party executive board on Thursday.

Ruangroj was among the coup makers.

Karn said the former MPs asked Ruangroj to bury the past and join the party to help solve the country's problems.

In another report, Gen Sonthi gives his blessing to the Halloween Coalition:

Sonthi fine with Samak's move

Council for National Security chief General Sonthi Boonyaratglin yesterday shrugged off moves to install political veteran Samak Sundaravej as leader of the People Power Party, seen as the new home of Thai Rak Thai remnants.

The Nation

"No problem with any move that's in accordance with democratic principles," he said.

Sonthi also confirmed that former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra had called him after the September 19 coup.

"It was a long time ago. We talked on general topics, like brother to brother," he said.

Reacting to Thaksin's statement that the lack of military cooperation had caused the flare-up of violence in the South, he said he saw Thaksin's decree dissolving the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre as triggering the insurgency.

In a related development, a ranking member of the Prachakorn Thai Party issued an open letter condemning Samak for abandoning his old party for a "well-replenished" banner.

"Samak is a Prachakorn Thai founder but he decided to abandon ship in order to team up with People Power, which has plenty of supplies," Sonthiya Sawatdee said in his letter.

Sonthiya said Samak was turning his back on his old party, even though executives had begged him to lead them once again in April.

He claimed Samak might have an ulterior motive in accepting the leadership of People Power Party - seen as a proxy party for Thaksin.

Samak and the party's financier are known to share a common grudge against General Prem Tinsulanonda, the president of the Privy Council, he said.

Now, let me get this straight: Samak "a good commie is a dead commie" Sundaravej is joining forces with the '73 student leftist remnants of the Thai Rak Thai in conjunction with one of the "reluctant" coup makers, Former Supreme Commander Ruangroj Mahasaranont, to form the "People's Power Party" and all of this is done with Gen Sonthi's blessing.

But who will be calling the shots in the Halloween Coalition, according to this article, there is previous bad blood between Samak and Ruangroj:

Criticism of Gen Prem deemed unacceptable


The Supreme Command will issue a formal demand on behalf of the armed forces that veteran politician Samak Sundaravej accept total responsibility for offending Privy Council chairman and statesman Prem Tinsulanonda. Supreme Commander Ruangroj Mahasaranont has ordered the Directorate of Joint Civil Affairs to deliver a formal announcement calling on Mr Samak to account for his comments about Gen Prem during his talk show on army-owned TV Channel 5 last week.

Lt-Gen Palangkul Klaharn, head of the directorate, said Gen Ruangroj had assigned him to follow through with the demand.

The directive said Mr Samak must face the consequences of his actions.

In his Chao Wannee Thee Muang Thai show, Mr Samak rebuked Gen Prem for delivering what he insisted was an ill-timed statement at a recent public forum.

Gen Prem said a good leader needs not only intelligence and ability but also ethics and morality.

Mr Samak felt the speech was a blow to social harmony, especially now that Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was under intense pressure from opponents to resign following the high-profile Shin Corp-Temasek deal.

Gen Ruangroj is a Class 10 mate of Thaksin and was picked by Thaksin's cousin, Gen Chaisit Shinawatra, to be Supreme Commander. During the coup, Ruangroj was considered part of the a pro-Thaksin arm of the military brass. He was pushed out right after the coup.