EDITORIAL: Waning fortunes for populist PM?

EDITORIAL: Waning fortunes for populist PM? - The Nation, November 13, 2005
[This 'royal prerogative' issue has suddenly gained widespread attention after a flurry of email forwards and web-based articles in the last two weeks.]
...Thais who are not familiar with royal protocol may not feel that there is something wrong with a Thai prime minister conducting a ceremony with noble purpose inside the sacred temple. But somehow Sondhi managed to put together a jigsaw puzzle that made many Thais raise their eyebrows at Thaksin's action. The government's awkwardly handled response to the charges, providing documents supposedly showing that Sondhi's arguments contained some loopholes, has increased public suspicion and confusion. The government insists that Thaksin did not impinge on royal prerogatives when he presided over the religious ceremony. Approval had been sought and granted by the Royal Palace, government officials said. Sondhi countered that the "approval" was sought in a very urgent manner, one or two days before the ceremony, and that the royal document allowing the ceremony to take place followed the government's suggestion that Thaksin would be only one of the "participants", not someone who would preside over it...
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