Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Same procedure as last month

Today Bangkok governor Apirak Kosayodhin, just reelected one month ago, resigned because the National Counter Corruption Commission (NCCC) decided yesterday that he is guilty in the fire truck case and provided his case to the court.

The ludicrous thing - as far as I know the only thing Apirak did in this case was to follow the contract with the Austrian company who delivered the trucks. He inherited this contract from his predecessor Samak, and simply paid the allegedly overpriced contract, as it included the money spend on bribery. So in any normal case, the only one who should get problems would be Samak who signed that contract - if Apirak chose not fulfill the contract then the city administration would get sued as well.

The only good thing is that this sets an example on how the politicians should act when they get involved in corruption cases or other legal problems, not sticking to their post since they get removed by a court decision (see prime minister Samak earlier this year). So we will see a second gubernatorial election soon, the second (Prapat Chongsa-nguan) and third (Chuwit Kamolvisit) of the previous one already announced they will run again. According to MCOT, the new election has to be held within 90 days after the resignation take effect, thus before February 18 2009. I wouldn't be surprised that if the court follows logic and clears Apirak we will see him again in politics, maybe even be able to run for the same post again if the court works fast enough.

So just another piece in the big tragic theater of current Thai politics, making another part of the administration unable to work. Or is this an attempt to stop the economic downturn by making the politician spend money on elections campaigns every two month?

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