Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thaksin's thinly-veiled plan to seek amnesty

The Thaksin's "Phone-In Show" last night had one
obvious aim: to seek enough sympathy from the crowd
to ask for a public request for royal amnesty from
the two-year imprisonment term handed down last week
by the Supreme Court for Political Office Holders.

But is it legally permissible? Premier Somchai Wongsawat,
Thaksin's brother-in-law, said he won't be proposing
the amnesty for the ex-premier. "Besides, only the affected
person can submit such a request."

Government spokesman Nattawut Saikua said Thaksin won't
be seeking amnesty anyway.

National Insitute of Development Administration (NIDA)
Rector Sombat Thamrongthanyawong said a convict can only
seek a reduced jail term when he has started serving
the prison term, not before.

"Or else, pressure could be applied to the government to
initiate a bill to seek amnesty. But then, it's against
the constitution to take such action for any one person,"
he said.

Thaksin's revealing statement that sparked this line of
speculation was: "Only through royal kindness or people
power can I return to Thailand again."

To my mind, the more tell-tale statement was when Thaksin
kicked off his ten-minute phone-in (from Hong Kong) with
this seemingly innocent question to the estimated 50,000-strong

"Do you miss me?"

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