Elections Stalled as MP Becomes a Monk

March 16, 2006

Source: The Times


On March 16, 2006 The Times reported, "Thailand sank deeper into political crisis yesterday after a party candidate suddenly abandoned politics to become a Buddhist monk. The Thai election commission said that a snap election called by Thaksin Shinawatra, the embattled Prime Minister, may not take place because it was unlikely to return the required number of elected MPs. The problem is largely due to Premsak Phiayura, a veteran politician who announced that he was taking holy orders. Mr Premsak, formerly a member of Mr Thaksin’s ruling Thai Rak Thai (Thais Love Thais) Party, was all but guaranteed a seat as one of 100 MPs elected by proportional representation. But his decision to join a monastery means that the new parliament will almost certainly be short of the full house necessary to appoint a new government. Demonstrators have picketed Mr Premsak’s monastery, accusing him of sabotaging the election in return for a bribe.