Call for Thai senior statesman to help resolve political stalemate


BANGKOK, April 15 – A group of respected older Thai citizens has called on Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda to take the leading role in seeking a royal command to resolve Thailand’s months-long political impasse.

Former supreme commander Saiyud Kerdpol said the current political crisis could be resolved by the power of His Majesty the King as in cases in the past, including the October 14, 1973 student uprising and the 1992 Black May events.

Gen Saiyud gave a press conference on “Resolutions for Thailand” together with Pramote Nakornthap, independent academic, Terdsak Sajjaraksa, former deputy air force commander, and Prasai Songsuravej, former governor of the National Housing Authority.

They identified themselves as members of the “State Individual Group.”

Gen Saiyud said the King’s charisma will lead Thailand through the political crisis but His Majesty has to stay away from politics.

“In this case, Gen Prem who is in the prestigious position of Thailand’s senior statesman should be the pillar for the judiciary, military and society by presenting a royal command for HM the King’s endorsement,” he said.

Gen Saiyud said he believed that Thai society will accept a royal command as in the past, adding that the royal command is different to that proposed in accord with Section 7 of the Constitution.

Caretaker Justice Minister Chaikasem Nitisiri earlier proposed that His Majesty could be asked to exercise his power as stipulated in Section 7 of the Constitution in case of a political vacuum.

Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is currently awaiting two crucial rulings – one from the National Anti-Corruption Commission concerning her role in the rice pledging scheme and the other from the Constitutional Court on the transfer of National Security Council chief Thawil Pliensri. If found guilty, she could be removed from power.

Mr Pramote said the older citizens’ proposal was by no means a move to disturb HM the King.

Bancherd Singkaneti, rector of the Faculty of Law, National Institute for Development Administration, described it as one of several proposed resolutions for the country.

Whether the group should wait until the country is plunged into a political vacuum or not before making the proposal, he said, is subject, a matter of opinion.