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Veteran Thai politicians form new party, claiming neutral stance
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17:32, September 11, 2007

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As political forces in Thailand undergo a maneuver for the December election, more than 200 veteran Thai politicians Tuesday launched a new political party which claimed a neutral stance in a country divided between pro- and anti-Thaksin camps.

Surakiart Sathirathai, who served as foreign minister under the ousted government led by Thaksin Shinawatra, announced the platform of the Pua Paendin (For the Motherland) Party, which will contest in the general election scheduled on Dec. 23, at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok.

"Our stance is to be nobody's enemy," said Surakiart, quoted by the news network The Nation.

Surakiart said that the new party will neither be a nominee of deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra nor a supporter of the junta that ousted Thaksin with a coup on Sept. 19.

Besides Surakiart, who was believed a key figure behind the formation of the new party, the group also include veteran politicians and many former executives of the former ruling Thai Rak Thai (TRT) Party, founded by Thaksin, such as Suranand Vejjajiva, Preecha Laohaphongchana.

As former TRT executives, Surakiart is not expected to formally lead the new party, after a court verdict in May disbanded the TRT party on electoral fraud charges and banned all party executives from seeking political posts in the next five years.

The question remains as who would be the potential candidate for the Pua Paendin party to run the upcoming general election.

The Pua Paedin Party's major contenders in the polls would include the veteran parties of Democrat and Chart Thai parties, long-time opponents of Thaksin, and the pro-Thaksin People's Power Party which was newly transformed after many former key TRT members joined in.

Source: Xinhua

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