|Royal decision on auditor-general ‘may be imminent’
Published on September 01, 2005 - A decision from the Royal Palace about the nomination of a new auditor-general may have already been relayed to His Majesty the King’s principal private secretary, Asa Sarasin, said the man who penned a best-selling book about challenges to the royal powers.
“His Majesty has issued his opinion [on the matter]. Now His Majesty’s principal private secretary should relay his words to those involved,” said MP Pramual Rujanaseri, a member of the ruling Thai Rak Thai’s dissident Wang Nam Yen faction.
He said if the people involved wanted to know about the message, they should contact His Majesty’s principal private secretary directly. “He’s the connecting point between HM the King and all of us,” said Pramual.
There has been an impasse over the appointment of a successor to Jaruvan Maintaka, who has refused to step down despite a Constitution Court ruling in July of last year that the process that led to her appointment was unlawful. Jaruvan argued that she had been appointed to the position by royal command and therefore should be removed in the same fashion.
Senate Speaker Suchon Chalee-krua disclosed recently that he had submitted for royal endorsement Visut Montriwat’s nomination for auditor-general on June 10.
Suchon made the submission after the majority of the Senate voted in support of Visut’s nomination by the State Audit Commission. The pressure is growing for Suchon to make a decisive move on the matter, but he has insisted on waiting for a formal response from the Royal Palace.
Pramual said yesterday that the controversy over the auditor-general’s nomination resulted from a series of challenges to the royal powers that he believed resulted from ignorance rather than ill intent.
He said also that uncertainties over this year’s reshuffle of the military’s top brass were caused by a failure to recognise the King’s traditional status as chief commander of the armed forces. Attempts were being made to rectify that mistake, he added without elaborating.
Pramual is the author of the book “Phra Ratcha-amnat” (The Royal Powers), which has become a hot topic of discussion in recent weeks. Thousands of copies have been sold and tens of thousands of Internet surfers have read the book online at power.manager.co.th.
The civil servant-turned-politician said he did not consider himself a government critic, but rather was merely responding to questions from the mass media.
When asked about his political future, Pramual said he was not stuck in politics and therefore could stay or go.
“Now I’m a politician, and I just want to sell my ideas,” he said.
Anonymous leaflets were left inside a men’s room in the Parliament building yesterday attacking Jaruvan and the mass media for contributing to “attempts to destabilise the country”. The leaflets also offered encouragement to Suchon and Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.