Surakiart back in Bangkok

Thai UNSG candidate Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai has returned to Thailand following the coup and expressed his appreciation for the interim military government’s continuing support of his candidacy. It was not certain however what if any role he would play in the interim government.

Asked whether he must have a post in the new cabinet if he needed to compete for the UN top post, Dr. Surkiart said he was confident he would continue to do that now that CDRM had supported him.

But for many, Surakiart’s campaign is significantly weakened since the coup.

An armed coup in Thailand has undermined the chances of Thai ex-Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai to the post of U.N. Secretary-General, Itar-Tass quoted permanent representative of the People’s Republic of China at the United Nations Organisation, Wang Guangya as saying.

Former Thai Ambassador Asda Jayanama continued his appeal for Surakiart to drop out, suggesting, despite his increased support in the September 14th straw poll, that he did not received backing from all of the Security Council permanent members. The coup would only make his efforts more difficult, said Asda.

Despite the backing from the military, Asda said it would be difficult for Surakiart to mount a serious challenge now as he would not be able to get the kind of financing and manpower backing he was getting prior to the coup.

UPDATE: ASEAN is still backing Surakiart, though weakly it appears. 

“We reaffirmed our support,” Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo said as he emerged from a breakfast meeting of foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

While some of the ASEAN ministers agreed that the coup may hurt Surakiart, the ministers could not overturn their leaders’ endorsement, so they left the decision to Thailand on whether to withdraw his name, said a diplomat who attended the meeting, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the issue.

Thailand said it was still backing Surakiart and asked for an ASEAN statement of support, but no consensus could be reached when other ASEAN members said any statement should also touch on the situation in the country, the official said, adding that no alternatives to Surakiart were proposed.

One Response to “Surakiart back in Bangkok”

  1. […] It would be ironic if Romulo decided to jump into the race, considering it was he who announced ASEAN’s continuing support for Surakiart after an ASEAN ministerial meeting last week. […]

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