wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
06BANGKOK1873 2006-03-28 11:26:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Bangkok
Cable title:  


pdf how-to read a cable

1. (C) The Ambassador spoke on March 28 with Cabinet
Secretary-General Bowornsak Uwanno. Bowornsak was critical

of the opposition PAD leaders, especially Sondhi Limthongkul
and Chamlong Srimuang, for trying to force the King to
intervene and resolve the political impasse. He complained
that the PAD leaders were trying to induce the PM to use
force to end the demonstrations, and thus provoke a crisis
that would bring down the government. The government,
however, would not resort to force.

2. (C) Bowornsak then volunteered that, after the election
on April 2, he expected the PM to seek an audience with the
King and "ask the King's opinion." Thaksin would then decide
to step down for a period, during which political reforms
could be undertaken. In fact, Bowornsak said, "perhaps a
decision has already been made," but the PM had to have the
election first, before he would consider stepping down.
"Things will be all right after the vote," Bowornsak assured
the Ambassador.

3. (C) The Ambassador raised the question of the extent of
political reform needed. Bowornsak said that while PAD
leaders like Sondhi and Chamlong are apparently advocating
for a new constitution entirely, many in the opposition
believe that only a few changes are needed. The reform
process would not take a long time. The Ambassador asked
about the threat of asset seizure. Wouldn't this threat
encourage Thaksin to cling to his position in order to better
protect his fortune? Bowornsak found this argument
unconvincing. The courts would have to first find Thaksin
guilty of a crime before there could be any threat to his
assets, and there was no evidence that Thaksin had committed
a crime.

4. (C) Comment: We have heard predictions of this scenario
from a number of other sources: Thaksin wants the
vindication of a big vote for him on Sunday, and would then
be able to step down from a strong position, and plan to
return to politics after things cool down for him. Bowornsak
predicting it is signicant, because he is an intimate Thaksin
advisor. We believe that Bowornsak is not idly speculating
in discussing this scenario. He sounded like he was quite
sure that things would play out as he anticipated, and he is
in a good position to have the inside scoop. However, even
if the PM has mapped out this strategy, he may still change
his mind, or be influenced by others to harden his position
after the election. Nothing will be certain until the
mercurial PM makes his decision public. End comment.