Wed, May 10, 2006 - Page 5 News List

Thaksin unlikely to seek PM's post again, aides say

AP , BANGKOK

Top aides to outgoing leader Thaksin Shinawatra said yesterday there was no legal obstacle to him running in coming parliamentary elections but that it was unlikely he would return as Thailand's next prime minister.

Opponents of the tycoon-turned-politician have issued repeated reminders that the nation's political crisis started over Thaksin's alleged corruption and would re-ignite if he returned to power.

"Personally, I believe that Thaksin will run in the election," his political secretary, Promin Lertsuridej, told reporters. "But I don't think he will take the role of prime minister."

Aside from Thaksin's political plans, Thailand wondered yesterday when it would be called back to the polls -- the country's third general election since last February. The latest polls held last month failed to fill all the seats of parliament -- partly because of an opposition boycott -- leaving the country unable to legally form a new government.

The Constitutional Court on Monday issued an unprecedented ruling nullifying the April 2 elections, and the country's top justices met yesterday to confer on plans for a new vote.

No date has been set, primarily because the Election Commission -- the agency normally responsible for scheduling polls -- was itself found to have violated the Constitution.

The country's chief justices pledged to play a "major" role in the fresh polls and urged members of the Election Commission to resign.

"For the sake of nation, they should resign to pave the way for judges to nominate a new set of election commissioners," Supreme Court spokesman Jaran Pakdithanakul said after a meeting of judges from Thailand's three highest courts.

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