Banharn admits meeting Thaksin in Brunei

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Chartthaipattana Party adviser Banharn Silpa-archa admitted Monday that he met Thailand’s ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra in Brunei, but denied asking for more ministerial posts for his party, saying that three portfolios are enough.

Banharn, himself a former Thai prime minister from Suphan Buri, said he visited Brunei on the weekend ‘to see white tigers’ that he planned to bring into Bungchawak Zoo in Suphan Buri.

He said that he had met Thaksin for an hour, and they had a meal together, but claimed that there was no talk of politics.

Banharn said that Dubai, where the ex-prime minister is living in self-exile is seven hours flight time but Brunei is only two hours traveling, so it is easier to meet in Brunei.

Banharn said that during the discussion, he did not raise the issue of ministerial posts as he felt it was not appropriate, so he did not request more portfolios for the Charthaipattana Party.

He said he could not request as he has no right, it was the responsibility of the party leader.

As Charthaipattana won only 19 seats in July 3 general election, he said, three ministry posts are enough.

On Dec 2, 2008, both the Chart Thai Party and the People’s Power Party were dissolved by the Constitutional Court of Thailand for having violated electoral laws in the 2007 general election. Party executives, including Banharn, were banned from Thai politics for five years.