Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bank Of Thailand Governor Likely To Be Prime Minister?

Bank of Thailand Governor Pridayadhorn Devakula is said to be the leading candidate to assume caretaker Prime Minister's post following the military ouster of embattled premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

The Nation daily said in its website that Pridayadhorn, who is in Singapore to attend the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings, has cut short his trip. It quoted Pridayadhorn as saying that he had agreed to accept to become Prime Minister and an announcement was likely later today.

Earlier this morning, Thailand's military leaders appeared publicly for the first time on national televisions this morning to confirm a coup against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The country's first Muslim army chief, General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, who led the coup d'etat, read out a statement citing the reason for the coup.

Flanked by chiefs of other wings of the military, Sonthi said the midnight coup by the military group calling itself the Democratic Reform Council was made in view of Thaksin's poor and dangerous handling of the country. In his statement, which was similar to an earlier announcement made over televisions, Sonthi said Thaksin had divided the country, bordering on lese-majesty and his government was corrupt.

"He liked to interfere in the working of independent government bodies which made them difficult to carry out their task. There was alot of personal interest involved," he said. Sonthi asked the 64 million Thai people to support the new authorities and promised to restore democracy and return the power to the people. The military has also disbanded Parliament, the 1997 Constitutions and the Constitution Court.

Immediately after his statement, all television channels, which came under soldiers' control overnight, started to broadcast their normal programmes and commentaries on the coup after showing only documentaries or march music in praise of King Bumiphol Adulyadej.

**** More news here: S'pore Expresses Concern Over Situation In Thailand
Thai Coup: Indonesia Closely Observing Development

UPDATE: Thaksin headed for Singapore?


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