Friday, November 30, 2007

Bangkok Post: Is Prachai's Matchima Party Imploding Like TPI Did?

Prachai: No blackmail, simply a misunderstanding

Bangkok Post


Prachai Leophairatana, de facto leader of the Matchimathipataya party, has cleared the air over his claim he was being blackmailed, putting it down simply to a misunderstanding in the party.

Mr Prachai said the issue should be laid to rest after Somsak Thepsuthin, the founder of the Matchima group which was renamed Matchimathipataya, intervened yesterday.

Mr Prachai, Mr Somsak and key party figures met to iron out the claim by Mr Prachai that he was being blackmailed by a senior party member who refused to authorise the change of the party's official name unless Mr Prachai paid the official 60 million baht.

Mr Somsak also talked Thanaporn Sriyakul, the former leader of the Matchima group, into abandoning his attempt to file a defamation charge against Mr Prachai.

Mr Thanaporn, who thought Mr Prachai directed the blackmail accusation against him, went to Nong Chok police station yesterday to lodge a complaint. But he stopped short of pressing the charge after talking with Mr Somsak.

Mr Thanaporn, however, insisted Mr Prachai must account for the allegation which had damaged his reputation.

Mr Somsak denied the alleged blackmail and said some people were out to sabotage his party. He added that Mr Prachai had been misinformed.

Mr Prachai dismissed the issue as ''minor'' although he repeated his frustration with the delay in the change of party's name which has reportedly prevented him from officially assuming leadership of the party.

Mr Prachai's earlier claim that certain officials of the Election Commission (EC) had conspired in the alleged blackmail has upset the EC, which is looking to take him to court for defamation.

I'm not a psychiatrist, but there is something very bi-polaresque about Prachai's wacky behavior.

Before I thought he was running an interesting campaign, but now I think he is just nuts.

I never liked Somsak, but thought he was a clever politician(he has done everything and has played all sides), so I am surprised he continues to latch on to Prachai's sinking ship, which actually was the ship that he built.

With things the way they are headed, I think there is no chance that Matchima will be competitive in the next election.

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