Friday, December 12, 2008

Faction war hinders plan for new govt


Faction war hinders plan for new govt
Puea Pandin holds out on Democrats’ alliance


A faction of the Puea Pandin party is hampering the Democrat party’s coalition-building efforts by fighting for cabinet seats and refusing to commit to the alliance, sources say.

Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban and other key party figures yesterday sought to resolve the problem by visiting Puea Pandin leader Pracha Promnok at his home on Vibhavadi-Rangsit road with a bouquet of red roses.

They were joined at the one-hour talks by key Puea Pandin members Phinij Jarusombat, Preecha Laohapongchana, Mun Patanotai, Pichet Tancharoen and Nimuktar Waba, as well as list-MP M.R. Kittiwatana Chaiyant.

On Saturday and again on Tuesday, members of the Chart Thai Pattana, Ruam Jai Thai Chart Pattana and the dissolved Machimathipataya and Puea Pandin parties, and a faction controlled by Newin Chidchob declared their intention to join the Democrats.

However, Puea Pandin was represented by deputy leader Ranongrak Suwanchawee. Pol Gen Pracha did not take part.

Chart Thai Pattana was set up to replace the dissolved Chart Thai party.

Pol Gen Pracha yesterday sidestepped questions about whether his party would support the coalition-building efforts of the Democrats, or its rival Puea Thai, which is also trying to stitch together a new government.

He said the former coalition parties had yet to consult each other.

He denied Puea Pandin remained undecided because he was demanding cabinet seats.

Sources in the proposed new coalition said Puea Pandin had actually decided to back the Democrats but publicly remained uncommitted because key figures in the party were still fighting for cabinet portfolios.

The factions belonging to Mr Phinij, Mr Preecha and Suvit Khunkitti had approached the Democrat secretary-general for cabinet seats, the sources said.

In the meantime, the factions led by Pol Gen Pracha and Mr Mun were bargaining for portfolios through former foreign minister Surakiart Sathirathai, they added.

‘‘The whole Puea Pandin party backs the Democrat party’s attempt to form a government and supports Mr Abhisit as prime minister. But we don’t want Mr Phinij’s group to have sole authority in allocating [cabinet] positions,’’ another source in Puea Pandin said.

‘‘We will take the issue to the party’s executive board so a majority can make a decision instead of leaving it with Mr Phinij’s group alone. This is all about games within the party,’’ the source said.

hinder – to stop someone or something from making progess or developing; to hamper
alliance – a coalition; an arrangement to work together
cabinet – the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy
key – most important
dissolved – officially ended as a group
intention – a plan in your mind to do something
replace – to put a new person or thing in the place of someone or something แทนที่
sidestep – to avoid something difficult or unpleasant
stitch together – to put together, especially with some difficulty
consult – to ask for information or advice from someone
source – a person who gives information
back – to support
uncommitted – not willing or ready to support an idea, group or person
sole authority – the only one with the power to do something
allocate – to official give something to someone
issue – a subject that people discuss or argue about
majority – more than 50 percent of a group

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