Liberal International

Hans van Baalen on political observer mission to Bangkok

Press Release Hans van Baalen MEP, LI President of Honour , vrijdag 15 augustus 2014

LI President of Honour Hans van Baalen MEP met in the Thai capital Bangkok with the leadership of the LI full member Democratic Party (DP). He discussed the recent military intervention and the roadmap of the (military) National Council of Peace and Order (NCPO) to the restoration of Democracy with former Prime Minister and DP leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, deputy leader Kiat Sittheeamorn and former Foreign Minister and current Vice President on the LI Bureau Kasit Piromya.

The DP is both critical of the government of the deposed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the sister and proxi of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra who was sentenced for widespread corruption and of the military coup. The DP has demanded its members not to accept positions in the military nominated National Legislative Assembly (NLA) which should endorse a new Thai constitution. DP will only take part in free and fair elections.

From Left to Right: Kasit Piromya (VP on LI Bureau), Hans van Baalen, Abhisit Vejjajiva (leader DP, former PM) and Kiat Sittheeamorn (deputy leader DP)

Hans van Baalen also met with the Chief of the Thai Defence Forces General Tanasak Patimapragorn, the deputy leader of the NCPO, the military government. General Patimapragorn underlined the fact that the military intervention was a bloodless one necessay to prevent a civil war between red and black shirts supporting Thaksin who is self-exiled in Dubai and the yellow shirts who are against Thaksin. Not a single bullet was fired during the military take-over which has the tacit consent by king Bhumibol by his recognition of the NCPO as acting government.

Van Baalen also met with the Dutch Ambassador in Bangkok Joan Boer, Thai media, the board of Dusit International, foreign investors and business people and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation under interim director Armin Reinartz.

At the end of his visit Van Baalen noted that life is back to normal in both Bangkok and in the countryside, that the military intervention has broad popular support and that the Democratic Party in no way has been involved in the coup d'etat nor has supported it. The coup should be judged on the successful return to full democracy in the coming 18 months on the basis of a new constitution. Van Baalen will report back to the ALDE Group early September and will advise the European Liberals and Democrats to support the democratisation process in Thailand and to take the counsel of the Democratic Party which is our best partner in the country.

Hans van Baalen and the Chief of the Thai Defence Forces, General Tanasak Patimapragorn