Tuesday, March 29, 2011

NPP and PAD: Genie out of the bottle

The apparent split between the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and New Politics Party (NPP)is causing quite a stir in the local political circles.

Sondhi Limthongkhun probably couldn't believe that Somsak Kosaiyasuk, the NPP's leader, and Suriyasai Katasila, the party's secretary general, could "rebel" against him. After all, NPP was supposed to be the political arm of PAD. It was also supposed to follow every instruction from PAD's leadership, especially Sondhi's every wish.

But when Sondhi declared on the stage the other day that NPP was going against PAD's decision to boycott the upcoming election by preparing to field candidates, it came as a big surprise to a lot of people.

Is Somsak staging a mutiny against Sondhi? Nobody can say for sure. Privately, a number of PAD and NPP leaders were questoning Sondhi's stand. Publicly, every effort is still being made to put up a facade of harmy and unity.

Sondhi and Chamlong Srimuang have declared their "Vote No" campaign. They have also called for a three-year moratorium during which a "special government" -- it is not clear how to bring that about -- runs the country under Article 7 of the Constitution.

But the NPP appears to be headed towards a different direction. It wants to take part in the election and wants to have nothing to do with this "special arrangement."

Like it or not, the NPP now seems like a genie out of the bottle. It is defying attempts by PAD to put it back in.

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