Mr. Seni Pramoj has agreed to become Thailand's Prime Minister again, less than 24 hours?
Mr. Seni Pramoj has agreed to become Thailand's Prime Minister again, less than 24 hours after he resigned from the post. When he resigned, Mr. Seni said he was stepping down because there was insufficient confidence in his government over its handling of tension caused by the surprise return to Bangkok of former military ruler Thanom Kittikachorn.
SYNOPSIS: Field-Marshal Thanom became a Buddhist monk immediately after he arrived in Thailand from two years of self-imposed exile in Singapore. He had fled the country in 1973 after 72 people died in a student-led uprising which brought about the downfall of his regime. Mr. Seni's opponents, as well as members of the government party in parliament, accused him of acting indecisively in dealing with the Field-Marshal's return. They demanded that the soldier-monk be expelled from Thailand to avert the risk of demonstrations and other trouble.
Mr. Seni's announcement of his resignation, apparently made on the spur of the moment, pitched Thailand into fresh political uncertainty, only five months after general elections brought him to office. His coalition government, led by his Democrat Party, commanded 206 of the National Assembly's 279 seats.
In a statement two days before his resignation, Mr. Seni said the government had formed a committee to negotiate with Field-Marshal Thanom as soon as possible. He said the government would try to achieve the peace and happiness of all concerned, including the former military ruler.
To resign officially as Prime Minister, Mr. Seni had to submit his resignation to King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He travelled to the airport on Thursday (23 September) night, to meet the King who was returning to Bangkok after a long vacation in southern Thailand. His decision to accept the premiership again followed his meeting with the King. The apparent strategy now is for the government to allow Field-Marshal Thanom to remain in his monastic refuge, at least until the death of his 91-year-old father, whose illness promoted his return.