There is news today that the former Thai foreign minister and long-time Nakorn Sri Thammarat Democrat party heavy, Surin Pitsuwan, has influential backing for a bid to take the position of United Nations Secretary General.
The other Thai candidate for the position, Surakiart Sathirathai – who has, it must be noted, been lobbying for years – is still in the race. As an aside for those with any interest in the lives of Thailand’s rich and famous, Surakiart’s CV, and that of his wife, make fascinating reading.
In response to the rumours, Surin has been reported as saying, “I’m taking it with a big grain of salt”.
It seems likely that if a Democrat party government had ruled in Thailand for the past few years then Surin would be a frontrunner for the UN’s top job. Has the coup restored his chances of making a run? I have heard people in Thailand and abroad speculate on his chances many times over the years. Has the coup now given Surin – moderate Muslim, champion of democracy – the chance of a lifetime?
Only time will tell.